Civic Innovation PhD supervision

We welcome applications from PhD candidates interested in conducting research in line with the subject areas covered by the Civic Innovation research group.

Take a look at the type of research conducted by our faculty and the PhD supervisions they are interested in. More information about the ISS PhD programme and how to apply can be found on the ISS PhD Programme page.

  • dr. (Sylvia) SI Bergh

    dr. (Sylvia) SI Bergh

    Sylvia I. Bergh (a Swedish national) is Associate Professor in development management and governance at the ISS. She completed her D.Phil. thesis in Development…

I welcome PhD projects that deal with local (rural) governance issues such as participatory development programs in a decentralising context, state-society relations and public service provision at the local level, as well as social accountability issues, especially in the Middle East and North Africa region, including in the context of the ‘Arab Spring’. I also welcome projects researching gender questions and local development, such as gender-responsive budgeting initiatives.

  • dr. (Erhard) GE Berner

    dr. (Erhard) GE Berner

    Erhard Berner has done extensive research on urban poverty and community responses in the Philippines and elsewhere, and published a book and numerous articles…

I am supervising research in the broad field of urban development, poverty and social protection. In the context of Civic Innovation, I welcome PhD projects concerned with slum dwellers’ struggles for shelter, livelihoods and empowerment, and in particular the poor’s micro-enterprises.

  • (Kristen) KE Cheney

    (Kristen) KE Cheney

    Dr. Cheney’s research deals with children’s survival strategies amidst difficult circumstances and the politics of humanitarian intervention for such children,…

I welcome PhD supervisions to do with children, adolescents, and youth in development, particularly those dealing with the political economy of childhood, child protection, and sexual and reproductive health. I am also keen to guide PhD candidates in participatory methods and co-production of knowledge with young people. Finally, I am interested in working with PhD candidates researching ARTs and reproductive justice issues. 

  • dr. (Georgina) GM Gomez

    dr. (Georgina) GM Gomez

    I am fascinated by the diversity of forms of organising local economic governance. My interests focus on patterns of collaboration and competition around the…

I am fascinated by the diversity of forms of organizing local economic schemes. My interests focus on patterns of collaboration and competition around the configuration of money, markets and enterprises. My research covers complementary currency systems, local markets, local production systems and social economy organisations. I consider these are niches for learning-by-doing and experimenting with alternative economic activities that may later expand or contest the capitalist system at large. I approach these topics from a historical and institutional perspective, because I consider institutions are the most essential brick in the structuring of socio- economic life.

I welcome PhD projects that deal with organization and transformation of exchange systems at the local level, particularly money, markets, and new forms of entrepreneurship. It may include topics on market-making, like creating a complementary currency, engineering a new local market, re-coordinating a value chain or a local system of production, forming producers' associations, and so on.

  • prof.dr. (Wendy) W Harcourt

    prof.dr. (Wendy) W Harcourt

    Wendy Harcourt is Professor of Gender, Diversity and Sustainable Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University in The…

I welcome PhD candidates in the field of feminist engagements in diverse social justice movements, explorations of the nexus among global, feminism ecology and critical development studies.

  • prof.dr.ir. (Thea) DJM Hilhorst

    prof.dr.ir. (Thea) DJM Hilhorst

    I am an expert in development in areas affected by disaster, conflict or fragility, with a special focus on aid-society relations: the impact of humanitarian…

My work mainly focuses on aid governance, agency and development in areas affected by conflict or disaster.

My PhD candidates work on these topics in different areas of the world, for example on the nexus between peace building and humanitarianism, new forms of disaster governance or what to do when disaster happens in the midst of conflict. See my website if you want to know moreOpens external.

  • dr. (Helen) HM Hintjens

    dr. (Helen) HM Hintjens

    Dr Helen Hintjens is Assistant Professor in Development and Social Justice at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.For more than 30 years…

My main research interests are to do with post-genocide reconciliation and rights in the African Great Lakes region, especially in Rwanda, and with asylum and refugee advocacy and governance in Europe.

I work from a critical, rights-based perspective on these issues, and am especially interested in creative approaches to reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda, and advocacy for refugee rights and rights of undocumented people in Europe. I see these as 'two sides of the same coin' in terms of global rights and peace issues.

I am interested in supervising PhD researchers with a range of topics, and have so far successfully supervised around thirty PhDs in total.

  • dr. (Silke) S Heumann

    dr. (Silke) S Heumann

    Silke Heumann is a Sociologist and Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) in the Major Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Her areas of expertise and interest are…

I welcome PhD students interested in doing research on social movements, politics (both state politics as well as everyday politics) and gender and sexuality (i. e. sex work/ migration and ‘trafficking’, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence; religion and sexuality).

  • dr. (Rosalba) RA Icaza Garza

    dr. (Rosalba) RA Icaza Garza

    "My research and teaching have been driven by an overwhelming concern to understand resistance to multiple oppressions and the ways in which one’s understanding…

I very much welcome candidates who are interested in exploring the ways in which social struggles contribute to a continuous questioning of the meaning and practice of ‘international development’.

  • prof.dr. (Peter) P Knorringa

    prof.dr. (Peter) P Knorringa

    Peter Knorringa is a Professor of Private Sector & Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His…

I welcome PhD proposals on the developmental implications of private sector activities, such as: value chain analysis and private governance, role of social standards and codes of conduct; fair trade, ethical trade, and Corporate Social Responsibility; frugal innovation; new middle class consumers in the Global South; informal sector entrepreneurs, survival business and graduation.

  • (Rodrigo) R Mena Fluhmann

    (Rodrigo) R Mena Fluhmann

    I am Assistant Professor of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Governance. For over fifteen years I have studied and worked in humanitarian aid, disaster governance,…

My research agenda currently focuses on the changes that the humanitarian aid and disaster sectors are undergoing considering the compound effects and challenges of climate change, protracted crises, and displacement. I am also interested in the ethical, safety and security aspects of research (remote, in-situ/fieldwork and desk research), and how these aspects translate into methodological practices.

I welcome PhD researchers interested in researching:

  • humanitarian aid and disaster risk reduction, particularly in relation to the topics mentioned above
  • understanding the processes of disaster risk creation (DRC) vis-à-vis disaster risk reduction (DRR)
  • the role and use of technology in humanitarian aid and disaster governance (response and prevention)
  • the development, humanitarian, and peace/peacebuilding nexus
  • the relationship between conflict, disasters and humanitarian aid
  • (Sreerekha) S Mullassery Sathiamma

    (Sreerekha) S Mullassery Sathiamma

    Sreerekha Sathi joined ISS in January 2020. Prior to ISS, she taught at the University of Virginia, USA, in its Global Studies Program, and at the Department…

I lived for the most part of my life in India and my academic research interests have been deeply linked to my activism. I am interested in working with students on projects that challenge and seek to unlearn existing Eurocentric and neo-colonial knowledge production in the social sciences.

In the past, I have been involved in struggles for the rights of women, landless communities, workers and slum dwellers. I have engaged with issues pertaining to caste politics, indigenous land rights, capitalist globalization, and civil and democratic rights in South Asia. I have taught specifically on feminist critiques of development, women in precarious work in the global south, women social welfare workers in South Asia, feminist research methodologies and epistemologies, social movements in the global south, caste politics in India and South Asia, and the Kerala Model of Development. 

Much of my thinking and my theoretical and conceptual tools I use in research are influenced by socialist and decolonial feminist literature. I would like to work together with my students toward incorporating activist-produced knowledge rooted in the subaltern global south.

I welcome proposals from prospective candidates for PhD or Post-doctoral research who are interested in any of the broad areas of research mentioned above and are passionate about progressive thinking and developing transformative epistemologies and methodologies.

  • dr. (Lee) LJ Pegler

    dr. (Lee) LJ Pegler

    Lee Pegler works as a lecturer (Work, Organisation and Labour Rights) within the Social Policy for Development (SPD) Major at the ISS. He spent a large…

I have supervised, co-supervised and examined PhD candidates on themes such as CSR (1), Labour in Global Value Chains (2) and enterprise learning (1). I could do likewise on such themes and those noted in 2) above again. More broadly, I could be called on for most themes with a focus on labour, skills, capability and work issues, value chains, representation and human (in)security.

  • dr. (Karin Astrid) KA Siegmann

    dr. (Karin Astrid) KA Siegmann

    Holding a PhD in Agricultural Economics, I work as a Senior Lecturer in Labour and Gender Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of…

Topically, I welcome PhD supervisions that aim to understand how precarious workers challenge and change the social, economic and political structures that marginalize labour. Methodologically, I encourage PhD students to conduct research jointly with actors who have a direct stake in progressive social change. This is based on the assumption that academia can make an important societal contribution, especially if the ways in which knowledge itself is produced embody alternatives to the status quo. Geographically, the focus of my work has been South Asia, Pakistan in particular.