Vital Politics: Rethinking Normativity in the Anthropocene

The Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for a 2 year (24 months) postdoctoral position in democratic theory and climate change to be filled by September 1, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job content  
The position is part of a larger research project entitled “Vital Politics: Rethinking Normativity in the Anthropocene.” The project is funded by the Independent Research Council Denmark, with Professor with special responsibilities Lars Tønder as the principal investigator.

The project examines how to include the natural environment in the justification of political norms, especially as it pertains to climate change. The project seeks to addresses this problem through a new perspective that grounds the justification of political norms within a larger concern for life itself. The project develops this perspective though a close engagement with the vitalist tradition, drawing on Canguilhem as well as thinkers such as Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Deleuze.

The postdoc position is specifically linked to a subproject that examines how vitalism’s concern for life prompts changes in the general theory of representative democracy. The starting point is the link between vitalism and the new materialist account of agency as distributed across human and nonhuman life. Furthermore, the subproject examines how this account of distributed agency is linked to a “politics of swarming” in which multiple actors coordinate through decentralized networks of communication.

The successful candidate will become part of a vibrant and international research environment, with strengths in political theory, climate change politics, and the study of democracy. For more information about the Department of Political Science, please visit our website:

Qualification requirements
In order to be considered for the position applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to what can be achieved as part of a successfully completed PhD within a relevant field. We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in new materialism, vitalism, and democracy.

For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2013:

For further information about the position, please contact PI and Professor with special responsibilities, Lars Tønder, e-mail:


Share this page