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The Faculty of Social Sciences invites applications for the position of


for a three-year fixed term period from 1 June 2018 onwards (or as agreed) to contribute to the research project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw,

The SpaceLaw research project is located at the Centre of European Studies of the University of Helsinki. It is funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant and led by Kaius Tuori.

The project has two main research questions that explore the theme by the confrontation of ideas and their contexts in both the ancient Roman Republican tradition and its afterlife in the European tradition:
1) What is the relationship between the Republican ideals and administrative practices and how is their change visible in the spaces of administration from the Roman Republic to modern Republicanism?
2) How the changes in the context and space of administration reflect in the social topography, the public and private spheres of governance?
Administrative professionalization has conventionally been the hallmark of a modern state. Ever since Weber, the conceptual separation of the office and its holder has defined the European way of governance. This separation equally defined it from both its feudalistic predecessors and failed states prone to corruption and nepotism. The origin of this European tradition of the separation of public and private has been seen in the Roman Republican state with its strict responsibilities, term limits and defined powers of its magistracies. This separation was made concrete in the building of public spaces for political and administrative purposes, in settings whose magnificence and grandeur reflected the value that the society held them. In the European tradition, public spaces were a demonstration of public power. While the spatial settings as have been studied in relation to monarchical settings like courts, Republican administration has been neglected. The problem is that much of what is known about the Roman Republican administrative practice fits this image badly. For example, how is it possible to have professional administration if the magistrates are not paid and have no offices to work? The purpose of this project is to challenge that assumption and to propose a new model of the Roman governance through a novel re-evaluation of the ancient Roman administrative tradition and its links with the European heritage through the issue of administrative space. Spatial analysis allows the observer to break beyond the limits of the self-understanding of the sources and to approach fundamental connections between questions of power, law and governance.

The project is divided into four subprojects (A-D) that examine the different facets of the research questions. These subprojects will serve as a primary individual project for one team member.

Subproject A: The Emergence of the Republican Tradition explores how the Republican tradition of administration was shaped by its historic, spatial, economic, social and philosophical contexts by examining four case studies. How does the change in the interpretations of the tradition correspond with the changes in its spatial and immaterial context? The results of a survey of the corpus of the Roman Republican texts on the theory and practice of administration and administrative space will be compared with the other case studies of the Republicanist tradition.

Subproject B: The Transformation of Administrative Space between Public and Private will produce a new inquiry into the administrative space in the city of Rome and compare it with examples from both classical world and the later historical tradition. The aim is to combine archaeological and historical data to trace the work of administrative magistracies and their contexts.

Subproject C: The Legal Framework and the Administrative Process analyses how Roman jurists and other elite authors conceptualized the legal framework of the administrative state and the process of administration. How jurisprudence and legal practice conceptualized space in administration? What were the needs and requirements of space for legal administration and how do legal texts reflect space? The result will be an unorthodox interpretation of how the law created space and was created in spaces such as the Forum.

Subproject D: The Social Topography of the Administrative Space. Drawing from the political and social history of the domestic and public spheres, the subproject will investigate administrative space as a space in between the political and the private domains and how their boundaries were demarcated? It will equally look at how people from different backgrounds and tasks operated in these spaces. Using tools of social topography, historical geography and prosopography, the subproject will produce a new theory of the overlapping areas of privacy, intimacy and sociability in relation to the “public” areas of politics, military or religious activities as well as the spatial dimension of administration intermingling with them all.

The postdoctoral researchers may apply for all four subprojects. The applicant must indicate clearly in her or his application, to which subproject she/he is applying to. Multidisciplinary backgrounds in law, humanities and/or social sciences are expected of the team members. In subproject A, the focus would be in the intellectual history of Republicanism, while in B a specialization in archaeology, ancient history or art history would be needed. In subproject C, the task at hand would require a specialization in areas such as legal history or Roman law, but in D the possibilities are much wider in terms of a suitable background, including anthropologists and other social scientists.

An appointee to the position must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field of Ancient history, general history, archaeology, Roman law, or equivalent. Moreover, she or he is expected to have the ability to conduct independent scientific research and possess the teaching skills required for the position. The period following the completion of doctoral degree must not exceed five years, excluding family leave and equivalent periods of absence. An appointee must be able to provide a clear contribution to the theme of the research project and to its general development, together with full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, Ph.D. students, and graduate students working as research assistants. To fulfil the research requirements of the position, the applicant chosen is expected to be physically present on a regular basis and actively participate in the research and teaching activities of the research project. An appointee is expected to contribute develop her/his own and our common research agenda, and contribute to collective academic tasks such as teaching, seminars and joint academic papers. Conventionally, the teaching load is 5%, corresponding roughly with a course of 20 hours contact teaching.

The salary shall be based on level 5 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research staff in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal performance will be paid. The annual gross salary range will be approx. 41,000–50,000 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. In addition, occupational healthcare will be provided. The employment contract will include a probationary period of four months.

Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents in English as a single pdf file:
1) A curriculum vitae (max 4 pages).
2) A numbered list of publications on which the applicant has marked in bold her or his five key publications to be considered during the review.
3) A research plan (max 4 pages) outlining how the applicant’s expertise could contribute to the research project.
4) A summary (max 2 pages) on the applicant’s scholarly activities including original research at an international level, international academic networks, local co-operation, success in obtaining research funding, experience in research management.

For instructions, please see

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for job. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal,

Further information about the position and about the research project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition may be obtained (in Finnish and English) from Dr. Kaius Tuori ( In case you need support with the recruitment system, please contact

Due date

15.04.2018 23:59 EEST