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

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

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

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

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

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.

I have successfully supervised 15 PhD candidates and I am currently supervising 10 PhD projects. The latter concern long term evolutionary studies on local institutions; SMEs and entrepreneurial responsibility; value chain development in post-conflict areas; value chains and (co-)innovation; role of local governments in basic services and in local economic development, role of NGOs and social entrepreneurs in local development.

dr. (Silke) S Heumann

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

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’.

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.

dr. (Lee) LJ Pegler

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.

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.

'Innovative research and international engagement'
Birendra Singh
PhD researcher at ISS

Why do your PhD at ISS?

PhD researcher Birendra Singh is attached to the Civic Innovation research group. Here is explains why he wanted to do his PhD at ISS.