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Call for Applications: Post-doctoral and Senior Research Fellowships in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Exclusionary Regimes and Autocratization

The OSUN Forum on Democracy and Development by CEU Democracy Institute (Budapest), Universidad de los Andes (Bogota), the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town and the Social Scientists’ Association of Sri Lanka (Colombo)– invites applications for six post-doctoral and two senior research fellows for an 8-month residential fellowship program on the theme of “Exclusionary Regimes and Autocratization” between October 2024 and May 2025 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The successful candidates are expected to contribute to our scholarly understanding of the characteristics, dynamics, and impacts of exclusionary regimes around the world from different social scientific perspectives and methodologies.. In addition, Fellows will be also expected to contribute to a broader conversation regarding the policy implications of their topic of research, and strategies for mitigating negative societal impacts. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary and cross-regional comparative research proposals especially if they are thematically also linked to one or more of the other three research axes under the purview of the OSUN Democracy and Development project.

We particularly welcome systematic research on the following questions:

  • The historical structural and agentic dynamics of the emergence of exclusionary regimes
  • The impact of major global contemporary issues, such as migration, pandemics, or ecological crisis or wars, on exclusionary regimes and vice-versa.
  • How exclusionary regimes maintain legitimacy through, for instance, social and public policies, sustaining patronage networks, and instrumentalizing ideological cleavages
  • Conceptualization and understanding of resistance against majoritarian exclusionary regimes, and its consequences


We seek applicants with a record (or strong promise) of relevant and internationally recognized publications in the research area and a keen interest in networking and institution building. Candidates must have excellent written and oral proficiency in English. They must have a PhD in social sciences in hand at the deadline of application or present compelling evidence that the defense will be successfully completed before the start date. Early career researchers are welcome to apply. The application is open to all methodological approaches. We seek a rigorous research design and a critical perspective. We especially welcome scholars with a personal connection to the Global South.

What we offer

We offer a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience as well as a dynamic and international academic environment.

Successful candidates will reside at the Social Scientists’ Association of Sri Lanka (Colombo) and they will participate in an unparalleled multi-sited fellowship program on Democracy and Development running simultaneously in Budapest, Bogota, Cape Town, and Colombo where interdisciplinary research on 4 interlinked research themes will nurture path-breaking ideas to rethink democracy in its political, social and economic dimensions. Fellows will benefit from:

  • The academic convenorship of experts on exclusionary regimes and autocratization
  • Participation in joint summer schools and frequent collaboration with all Fellows across the 4 research hubs
  • A unique Methods Clinic, which will provide individualized methodological tutoring tailored to each candidate’s research project


Fellows will be hosted at Social Scientists’ Association of Sri Lanka in Colombo where they will be expected to reside for the duration of the program. Requests for short leaves to attend conferences or to carry out fieldwork need to be pre-notified in the application proposal.


Applicants need to submit:

  • Cover letter
  • Academic CV
  • Envisioned individual research project on exclusionary regimes and autocratization: title, abstract, and project outline (1000 words maximum, excluding bibliography)
  • Example of scholarly work (best recent article, book chapter, or job market paper)
  • Names and contact details of two scholars who could supply recommendation letters in case the candidate is shortlisted for the job. The referees will be contacted by CEU DI.

Please submit your complete application package as one single pdf file with your last name and “exclusion” as the title of the file (for example, smith_exclusion.pdf). Send your application email with “OFP Exclusion Application” as the Subject to:

Informal inquiries can be addressed to: Erdem Yörük <>Selection Process

Applications: Open until filled.

Starting date of selection: February 15, 2024