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Leverhulme PhD scholarship

Posted on 17 January 2017

The Department of Politics is delighted to offer one PhD scholarship generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

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The Department of Politics is delighted to offer one PhD scholarship (UK / EU tuition fees + stipend at UK research council rates), generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of its Research Leadership Award (2016) to Dr. Timothy Stanton for his project 'Rethinking Civil Society: History, Theory, Critique'.  The successful applicant will join a team of eight doctoral and postdoctoral researchers working on this five-year project. The scholarship is available to outstanding students seeking to conduct research on ideas of civil society and the state in German inter-war debates. 

In the last decades of the nineteenth-century, a number of eminent writers, including, perhaps most famously, Leopold von Ranke and Otto Gierke and, later, Jacob Burckhardt, Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer, began to reflect on the origins of the modern state and its character. German historians of the Wilhelmine era in particular had become preoccupied with the study of the state in the wake of the formation first of the Prussian state and then the first unified German state.  Reflection extended to criticism of Hegel for what Meinecke called ‘the false deification of the State’ which had continued under Hegel’s aegis since his death in the writings of Ranke, Droysen and others.  Seeking alternatives, intellectuals such as Burckhardt, Cassirer and Hans Baron went back to the Renaissance, exploring both the ‘myth of the state’ (the title of Cassirer’s posthumous work), and its Renaissance republican alternatives.
The successful applicant will study the war of minds over these issues during the period of the Weimar Republic.  Key thinkers may include not only those already mentioned, but also Carl Schmitt, and Hans Kelsen, Carl Joachim Friedrich, Otto Hintze and Helmuth Plessner. All these writers developed their competing views via sustained reflection on the writers of the previous four centuries. They looked back especially to the writings of the Renaissance Republicans, most notably Machiavelli (in the cases of Baron, Meinecke, and Cassirer),  political Aristotelians (in the cases of Gierke, Meinecke and Friedrich) and their seventeenth and eighteenth century successors (in the cases of Schmitt and Kelsen) to establish parameters within which the relations between economics and politics, the distinction between politics and the political, and the implications of the political were worked out in rival accounts of civil society, its relation to the state, and to liberal democracy.
To apply for this scholarship you will need to apply for the PhD in Politics. On the application form please enter 'Leverhulme scholarship' in the 'How studies will be funded' field. You should submit a relevant research proposal based on the information above.
The deadline for applications is 1 March 2017.
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