Research School for Economic and Social History


Postdoc position ‘Quantifying Dutch Historical Sustainability Trade-offs’ (Eindhoven University of Technology) – deadline 15 October 2023

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)in collaboration with Statistics Netherlands (CBS) is offering a position for a Postdoc who analyses transnational sustainability trade-offs. Those enthusiastic about combining long term historical insights with contemporary sustainability challenges should apply for this Postdoc position at the TU/e.

How should we understand the immense effects in global sustainability trade-offs of the Netherlands? The huge Dutch imports of raw materials and goods have been causing profound impacts in economic, social, and ecological developments elsewhere on the planet. These trade-offs have historical origins. The postdoc research is part of the Sustainability Trade-offs in the Netherlands’ Entangled Modernisation 1900-2020 project, funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO.

The postdoc will study how transnational production chains developed and how these mutually changed the social, economic, and environmental relations both in the Netherlands and abroad, from the nineteenth century onwards. Tasks are to develop databases on Dutch global trade from 1900 to the present, including reconstructions from archival material; and connect these data to sustainability measurement indicators. Databases on material flows and sustainability developments in the entangled regions will be developed in consultation with experts from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In-depth analysis of historical and contemporary trends in Dutch international trade will reveal the volume, rise, and decline of various commodities. Recombination of national and regional data will allow to elaborate on temporalities in regional shifts and interregional interdependencies. An assessment of sustainability developments will be based on the approach of sustainability and wellbeing monitors developed by CBS. In conjunction with other researchers in the STONEM project the postdoc will perform in-depth analyses on localized case studies on extraction and production of edible oils and metals.

In the STONEM program scholars at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) and Utrecht University (UU), Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and other partners in the STONEM research program collaborate; the postdoc from TUe will partly be a ‘researchers in residence’ at CBS.

Applications should be submitted ultimately by 15 October 2023.