Governance, Law and Social Justice PhD supervision

ISS welcomes applications from prospective PhD researchers who are interested in completing doctoral studies in one of the research lines of the Governance, Law and Social Justice (GLSJ) research group. Please first consult the PhD pages on the ISS website for details about admissions requirements.

Our research supervisors

My research interests span the broad realm of ‘international law and development’. I focus on studying law as a major factor in processes of development and/or transition, either as an instrument of change or as a vehicle for guarding the status quo.

I have long-standing experience in supervising PhD projects and in particular welcome PhD supervisions in the broad realm of (international) law and (sustainable) development, international human rights law, children’s rights, human/child rights-based approaches to development, climate change and human rights, and EU development cooperation.

As a socio-legal scholar, connected to a long-term, inter-faculty and interdisciplinary research project with the Erasmus School of Law on Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to the Rule of law and human rights (INFAR), I research the social and political dimensions of mobilizing law in relation to a variety of themes and pluralistic contexts, also as a form of counterpower to state and corporate-led lawfare.

Themes that I have explored include the many decades-long impasse between Israel and the Palestinians, accountability for international crimes and the (lack of) protection to refugees and other migrants (in South Africa, the Netherlands, broader Europe and elsewhere). Legal mobilization, as I regard it, takes a wide range of legitimate, law-based forms and includes, but is by no means limited to strategic litigation. By a similar token, lawfare takes a range of illegitimate, law-based forms, including, but by no means limited to SLAPP suits, political trials and other punitive measures aimed at supressing legal mobilization.

It is very important to me that the topic is decided by the PhD candidate. I welcome proposals from prospective candidates where my role in the supervision of the candidate would clearly bring added-value to the research project.

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 more.

dr. (Helen) HM Hintjens

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.

prof.dr. (Wil) W Hout

My research interests are related to issues in the political economy of governance and development, as well as on aspects of international cooperation (mainly development assistance policies and regionalism). Further, I have worked on governance issues in Suriname and Uganda.

I am interested in supervising PhD researchers who wish to focus on political economy dimensions of governance and development and questions related to international cooperation and regionalism.

My research interests broadly cover the inter-connections of violent conflict and development. More specifically, I am interested in issues and topics concerning violent conflict (their formation, perpetuation, dynamics and transformation) peace formation, peacebuilding, post-war transitions, external interventions in post-war peacebuilding, state-building and security governance. My main geographical areas of research are Asia, Sri Lanka in particular and Europe.

I am interested in supervising PhD researchers who wish to focus on themes and topics mentioned above and who have an interest in applying multi and transdisciplinary approaches to their research projects.

dr. (Karim) MKA Kniou

My research interests focus on the political economy of governance with an emphasis on EU-Mediterranean relations , varieties of capitalism, institutional analyses, politics of crisis management and political ontology.  I also have research interests related to politics of gas, EU democracy promotion programs and Lebanese politics.

I am interested in supervising PhD candidates who wish to focus on institutional analyses, varieities of capitalism(s), the political economy of crisis and learning, neoliberalization processes, politics of social ontology, Euro-Mediterranean and Middle Eastern politics.

dr. (Naomi) N van Stapele

My current project focuses on urban resilience in the context of violent extremism in East Africa. In my work, I always engage highly criminalized and marginalized people (such as gang members and sex workers) in Community-led Research and Action (CLRA) on a wide range of topics, such as work, security, 'radicalization', solidarity and activism.

I am especially interested in supervising PhD researchers who are interested in the interactions between the formal/top-down and informal/bottom-up governance activities at various jurisdictional, organizational and geographical scales and how these engender configurations of urban resilience to violence, destitution and disaster.

My research interests are related to Development Policy, Public Sector Management and Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. Further, I have worked on governance issues in several countries in North and South America, Asia and Africa.

I am interested in supervising PhD researchers who wish to focus on development policy, public sector management, infrastructure development (electric power and water & sanitation), privatization and regulation, and governance of climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.