Anthropology PhD positions Bologna

Positions are open for two PhD students at the University of Bologna. Please note that although these are three year positions, each student will be eligible to apply for a 1-year postdoc to follow the PhD, to publish her/his research.

Anthropology of impact investors.

The candidate’s research will contribute to the project ‘The Hau of Finance: Impact Investing and the Globalization of Social and Environmental Sustainability’ (IMPACT HAU), funded by ERC consolidator grant 772544 (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/218697/factsheet/en).

Investors and entrepreneurs increasingly collaborate with civil society  actors to do the work of sustainable development using private capital. IMPACT HAU will assess whether, and where, this tendency may represent a

cultural shift, what it entails, and how far-reaching and heterogeneous it is. Through exchange theory we frame the study of impact investing  beyond capitalism, treating impact bonds as ethnographic objects. We  will use fine-grained ethnographic research to assess whether impact  investing is merely opening new frontiers for financialization and  deepening the political crisis of the developed world, or whether indeed it is helping to bring about the radical transitions that can lead to  greater sustainability.

The candidate will undertake a PhD in anthropology to study ‘sustainable  and responsible investing’, with a focus on bond issuers and investors.  Possible field sites include ‘green’ stock exchanges, centres of Islamic  finance, institutional investors, auditors or development banks. The
successful candidate will have qualifications to masters level,  including a good degree in anthropology. (S)he will be able to demonstrate knowledge of and, preferably, relevant experience in finance  or related areas such as business, philanthropy or international  development. (S)he will have excellent written and spoken English, and  knowledge of another language relevant to the PhD proposal if  applicable. (S)he must be prepared to conduct research as part of a  team, residing in Ravenna or Bologna, and must either have knowledge of  or commit to learn Italian.

Anthropology of impact investing

The candidate’s research will contribute to the project ‘The Hau of
Finance: Impact Investing and the Globalization of Social and
Environmental Sustainability’ (IMPACT HAU), funded by ERC consolidator
grant 772544 (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/218697/factsheet/en).
Investors and entrepreneurs increasingly collaborate with civil society
actors to do the work of sustainable development using private capital.
IMPACT HAU will assess whether, and where, this tendency may represent a
cultural shift, what it entails, and how far-reaching and heterogeneous
it is. Through exchange theory we frame the study of impact investing
beyond capitalism, treating impact bonds as ethnographic objects. We
will use fine-grained ethnographic research to assess whether impact
investing is merely opening new frontiers for financialization and
deepening the political crisis of the developed world, or whether indeed
it is helping to bring about the radical transitions that can lead to
greater sustainability.

The candidate will undertake a PhD in anthropology to study impact
investing, through the ethnographic study of a project funded by green
bond, a sustainability bond or a development impact bond, examining
symmetrically bond issuance and use of proceeds. Examples of possible
field studies include: the use of green bonds to finance infrastructure
in China; development impact bonds for refugee integration in the Middle
East; or a sustainability bond to support female entrepreneurs in South
East Asia. The successful candidate will be educated to masters level,
including a good degree in anthropology. (S)he will be able to
demonstrate knowledge of and, preferably, relevant experience in finance
or related areas such as business, philanthropy or international
development. (S)he will have excellent written and spoken English, and
knowledge of a language relevant to the proposed field study (e.g.
Arabic, Chinese, Khmer, Vietnamese). (S)he must be prepared to conduct
research as part of a team, residing in Ravenna or Bologna, and must
either have knowledge of or commit to learn Italian.

Further particulars and to apply:
https://www.unibo.it/en/teaching/phd/2019-2020/cultural-environmental-heritage

Queries can be addressed to me at marcandrew.brightman@unibo.it

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