One of the aims of the Law & Anthropology Department is to offer a stimulating interdisciplinary forum where both lawyers and anthropologists can engage with one another and conduct cutting-edge, policy-relevant research linked to the intensification of exchanges and encounters among and between societies, communities, and cultures in today’s world. This calls for an in-depth assessment of the ways in which different normative orders and systems of morality coexist at various levels of decision-making.

This call invites research proposals that address the European context. The object is to allow a small group of doctoral students to assess, both from a legal and from an empirical point of view, some of the challenges that come with requests – both before public authorities (including the judiciary) and in private relationships – to accommodate, directly or indirectly, the increasing social, cultural, and demographic diversity in Europe today.

Within the framework of this call, three scenarios/challenges in particular are under scrutiny: (1) situations in which fundamental rights and liberties are in conflict with one another; (2) situations or practices that are not recognized or are explicitly denied validity under state law; (3) situations that are addressed very differently in the several domestic legal orders of European countries. Research proposals will focus on at least one of the three abovementioned scenarios/challenges, and applicants should make clear to what extent their project engages with both law and anthropology.

Please note that the Max Planck Institutes do not award doctoral degrees. Doctoral students must therefore enrol at a university in or outside Germany. The choice of university will be agreed jointly by the successful applicant and the director of the Department of Law & Anthropology (for practical reasons, most PhD students enrol at the Martin Luther University in Halle, but that is not a requirement).

Application deadline: January 31.

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