Call for Fellowship Applications: 2013-2014 The Future of the Western Liberal Order

Call for Fellowship Applications: 2013-2014 The Future of the Western Liberal Order

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The Transatlantic Academy is no longer accepting applications for the 2013-2014 academic year. Thank you to all those who applied. We hope to have a decision in the next few weeks.

Call for Fellowship Applications: 2013-2014
The Future of the Western Liberal Order

Call for Proposals
The Transatlantic Academy is seeking candidates to serve as resident Fellows from September 2013-June 2014 to examine the research theme, The Future of the Western Liberal Order. A joint project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the Transatlantic Academy is located at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington DC. Each year, the Academy brings together scholars from Europe and North America to work on a single set of issues facing the transatlantic community. The Academy is an interdisciplinary institution which is open to all social science disciplines, the humanities and the natural sciences.

In its first four years, the Transatlantic Academy looked at the movement of people toward western communities, the emerging foreign policy role of Turkey, the transatlantic implications of the rise of China, and the competition for natural resources. In its fifth and six years (2012-2014), the Academy is bringing together multidisciplinary groups of scholars to consider the big questions raised by the challenges to the western liberal order.

The western liberal order is in danger. It finds itself facing the rise of a new type of authoritarianism from emerging global powers, the threat of political backsliding among some newer democracies, and an erosion of democratic values and practices within older, established western democracies in the wake of the ongoing economic and financial crisis. At the same time, the outbreak of democratic revolutions in the Middle East, most notably in Egypt, offers the prospect of a renewal of the liberal paradigm and raises important questions about the role the transatlantic community can play in supporting and promoting the liberal order – with major implications for both domestic and global governance.

Research Themes
The Transatlantic Academy Fellows will spend the year both conducting their own individual research and in developing a collaborative research project which will result in a policy paper. The Academy invites proposals for research on one or more of the following questions:

1. The reshaped world order: How should democracies respond?
Until the democratic awakening in the Middle East, it seemed as though the international tide had turned against liberal democracy. The financial crisis, emerging multi-polarity in the international system, and energy challenges were seen by many to have weakened the global appeal of western-style democracy. Now, the crumbling of the autocratic order in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and the possible emergence of democratic but not necessarily liberal or pro-western regimes in the region, raises new and complex questions about the future of international liberalism. At the same time, the implications of the rise of emerging powers showcasing a new type of authoritarianism, which combines authoritarian political systems with a version of liberal economics, free movement of people, and even some openness in the media, needs to be considered. China and Russia offer models of this new authoritarianism. On balance, how viable is the western order as we know it? What is the meaning and relevance of liberalism around the world today? And what is the relationship between liberalism and the broader international order?

2. Prospects for Democracy in the West
A second sub-theme will look at the state of democracy in Europe and North America. Fellows will examine both short and longer term challenges to western democratic legitimacy and the broader problem of a western democratic deficit. Much has been written on the economic dimensions of the recession and turmoil in financial markets, but the potential long term impact of high unemployment, growing income inequality and demographic change on the dynamics of democracy still awaits full exploration. The new austerity in Europe and North America and the rise of right wing populist and nationalist movements pose challenges to open and pluralistic social and political models. The new democracies of East/Central Europe are especially under pressure given both the severity of the economic downturn and the newness of democracy in this region. In addition, the changing role of media and parties, and of ideology, needs to be considered in developing an overall assessment of the democratic future at home.

3. Democracy and Global Governance
Democracy is a universal but not uniform value. Given new challenges to the liberal order, a smarter, more nuanced form of transatlantic support for democracy is urgently needed in many parts of the world. The potentially epochal changes in the MENA region raise particularly critical and complex questions for the transatlantic democracies. What lessons should be drawn from the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and other countries in the Middle East? How should the West balance its strategic interests with its support for democratic movements in the region? Should the democracy agenda be western-led, and if so, what does this mean in practice? What would a more multilateral approach to democracy support look like? Finally, do we need to start from the drawing board and completely reconfigure the way in which democracy promotion goals are couched?

A minimum of four senior and postdoctoral scholars, three from Europe and three from North America, will work in a collaborative environment from September 16, 2013-June 14, 2014. Applicants for senior fellowships must have a PhD and professional experience equivalent to that of an Associate Professor. Applicants for Postdoctoral Fellowships must have completed their PhD within the last five years. Applicants who combine academic excellence with practical field or policy experience will have an advantage. Fellows will be expected to present their own research and to react to the work of their colleagues on a regular basis while at the Academy. They will also be expected to discuss their research with policy makers, non-governmental organizations and other policy oriented institutions, both in the United States and Europe. In addition to a generous monthly stipend, Fellows will receive travel expenses to and from the Academy and a research allowance.

How to Apply
Applications will be reviewed beginning February 1, 2013 with offers made no later than mid February, 2013. Applications can be downloaded from the academy’s website. The application form can be found here
For more information please contact Jessica Hirsch, Program Assistant, or 202-683-2644