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OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University

MSCA 2022 - call for expression of interest in Expertise, authority, and transformation of the legal profession in Europe

2022-01-31
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OsloMet's vision is to deliver knowledge to solve societal challenges. Norway's most urban and 3rd largest university.

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Call for Expression of Interest for a joint application under the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme – Call: MSCA-PF-2022

The Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS) is a leading Nordic multidisciplinary research centre on expertise, professions, education, work, and policy. Empirical research is combined with investigations of theoretical and ethical issues in various professional domains.

This interdisciplinary academic centre houses scholars from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history and political science. The centre combines an academic profile with focus on research and doctoral training, with an ambition of being relevant to key issues in political and societal debate, to professionals, public authorities, civil society organizations, market actors, and citizens.

We hereby invite top-class researchers of any nationality, who have a PhD degree and maximum eight years of research experience after having obtained their PhD degree, to apply for the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (call HORIZON-MSCA-PF-2022) to conduct research at the Centre for the Study of Professions at OsloMet for a period of two years.

Area of research

Populist contestation of political, bureaucratic and expert elites has become a salient part of contemporary politics also in European democracies – as demonstrated by the Yellow Vests movement in France, or by Victor Orban’s followers in Hungary. Elite critique is at the heart of a broader populist wave in Europe related to extreme right votes, lack of political participation and disenchantment from the rule of law. Central to this is a critique of tax systems and these elites’ power over the decisions on how citizens’ money is spent. Although populism often is directed against political elites, do politicians really shape the tax systems? On paper, they are the ones who vote over them. However, legal experts are also important in the process of shaping tax systems. Tax lawyers in the ministries of finance develop the legal texts on which the politicians vote, or they put limits to the politicians’ suggestions based on their expertise on what a correct and good tax system looks like. But how does one really distinguish between legal expert judgement and political judgement when the question is “what is a good tax system?” And do legal experts align with economic experts on tax issues, or do they represent a distinct voice? Additionally, do tax lawyers in different contexts agree on what legal expertise in the field of tax law is, or what good tax law is? Further, most of the limits to redistributive effects of tax systems are legal, with loopholes found with the help of legal experts in private firms counselling their clients. The increasing internationalization of law and consultancy firms is accelerating this process, as well as new forms of professionalization among lawyers. We need to get a better understanding of how the legal profession operates in practice, both in the private and public sector, and the influence it has over key issues to European welfare states and political legitimacy, such as the tax system.

Recent changes in the legal profession are likely to affect legal practice, expertise, and authority. Closure mechanisms are being internalized as they shift from educational prior to entering the profession to the inner workings of the law firms. This may alter the kinds of qualifications that are perceived as legitimate. Law firms are also more internationalized. New linkages between legal and economic expertise are salient but legal professionals’ boundary-drawing to adjacent fields of expertise remains largely unexplored. The femininization of the profession also represents a major change, as women tend to represent most new recruits in law firms in several European countries. Whether the entrance of woman represent a change in the types of competences valued or in the self-perception of the legal profession, is not sufficiently explored. However, career patterns are still clearly gendered. Despite national policies and firm strategies to try and improve work-life balance and improve the conditions for better gender balance at the top of the profession, lawyers aiming for partnership (must) adapt to the market structures and requirements transgressing all attempts at working time regulation. The legal profession, and its current feminization, represents a golden opportunity for studying the relative power of policies, regulation and market dynamics in the area of working time regulation in the professions.

We invite candidates to address questions on the relationship between expertise, politics, and markets in the legal profession, in particular in the field of tax law, but also beyond. We are interested in how tax law experts contribute to shaping the tax system, in questions related to transformations of the legal profession more generally, and the relative weight or power between different forces – political, market, demographic or other – that influence the forms of regulation of the profession, or the types of competences that is valued. Candidates may want to study the relationship between expertise and authority in the legal profession more generally, and the relationship between institutional structures and the kinds of knowledge that is valued.

We invite candidates interested in perspectives such as sociology of knowledge/expertise/professions, sciences studies, political science, and law and society. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches would be relevant, and comparative approaches (cross-sectorial, cross-institutional, cross-national or other) will be welcome, but are not required.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Associate Professor Marte Mangset. She has 17 years’ experience with comparative studies of knowledge and power, in particular studies of expertise in public administration, elites, valuation of academic quality, and the relationship between institutional structures, forms of expertise and power. She has published on these topics in English, French and Norwegian. 

With this call for expression of interest, we invite researchers to submit their application accompanied by CV (including publication list) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting two candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-PF proposals. The cooperation for the proposal development will be carried out remotely, with regular online communication via email and virtual meeting platforms. Applicants who are successful in getting their proposals funded by the EU, must relocate to work at the Centre for Study of the Professions, at OsloMet main campus, in the center of Oslo.

Starting Date

The EU shall inform the results on the MSCA-PF-2022 applications in February 2023. Successful applicants are expected to be available to start the fellowship project from within the two months following the announcement of results and no later than September 1st 2023.

Main duties of the position

The successful candidate will primarily work on the funded MSCA fellowship project, but will be integrated in the Centre’s general work, taking part in regular meetings and discussion groups. The candidate will specifically be introduced with Associate Prof. Marte Mangset’s national and international network of researchers. In agreement with the candidate, he/she would be included in other ongoing projects (in particular the TAXLAW project) and/or in the development of grant applications processes.

Expected qualification of applicants

Candidates must have a PhD in sociology, political science or anthropology as the minimum requirement.  We are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this period as an opportunity to further develop their research, and to develop longer term research collaborations with OsloMet and other organisations conducting research in the field. The candidates must be eligible for a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship: have a PhD successfully defended by the deadline (14 September 2022), a maximum of eight (8) years research experience after PhD, and not having worked/studied in Norway more than 12 months in the last three years.

We are looking for applicants who have

  • Knowledge of sociology of expertise/knowledge/professions, sociology of law, economic sociology, political science and/or public administration
  • Solid background in qualitative and/or quantitative methods.
  • An excellent track record in research and publications, necessary for being able to develop a competitive Marie Curie Fellowship application
  • An open and cooperation-oriented nature, with strong abilities for independent academic work
  • Excellent command / highly proficient spoken and written English

It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active efforts to further develop as an inclusive workplace and to accommodate the workplace if required.

Assessment and selection of candidates

Evaluation will be based on the qualification and project idea. Interested candidates must submit with their application the following documents:

  • CV (including research track record and list of publications)
  • A one-page description of the project idea for which a MSCA-PF grant will be applied (no pre-defined structure and excluding references).

Short-listed candidates will be invited for a virtual interview to select candidates that will be invited to develop the full MSCA-PF application with deadline on 14 September 2022 under the supervision of Associate Professor Marte Mangset and with the support of the professional research administration staff at OsloMet.

Under this call announcement a maximum of five candidates will be interviewed and two candidates will be invited to write applications with the endorsement of OsloMet. Candidates will be informed of the results of the internal pre-selection to apply by the end of March 2022.

Original documents about your qualification must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and to ensure a fair competition. Proposals will be pre-selected based on internal evaluation and the availability of suitable supervision. All documents that you hand in to OsloMet, including your proposal idea, will be handled in full confidentiality, and strictly following GDPR regulations.

Selected candidates must participate in the virtual masterclass on MSCA-PF, a two-day workshop organised by OsloMet on 20-21 April 2022 to provide applicants with detailed information and explanation of the application template to complete their proposal in compliance with the EU Commission requirements.

The postdoctoral position

Successful applicants who obtain a MSCA-PF grant will be offered a position at OsloMet to be hired as postdoctoral researchers, in conditions as explained below.

We offer:

OsloMet offers assistance in developing competitive Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship proposals. Then, to successful applicants who are awarded the MSC-PF grant, we offer:

  • Flexible working conditions
  • An inclusive and friendly work environment
  • Unique academic network with the possibility for the right candidate(s) to pursue his/her academic goals under the auspices of Associate Professor Marte Mangset and to take part in a dynamic and highly competent project group working on tax law experts
  • Norwegian language classes
  • Onboarding assistance for relocation and other services

The position adheres to the Norwegian Government’s policy that the national labour force should to the greatest extent possible to reflect the population diversity, all qualified candidates from any nationality are welcomed to apply.  OsloMet is an IA (Inclusive Workplace) organisation and operates in compliance with the Norwegian IA agreement. We make our active endeavour to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. If there are periods in your career when you have not been working, under education or training, you are also eligible to apply. Questions may be directed to the contact persons (per below).

Remuneration:

The competitive fellowship opportunities are 100% funded and include living and mobility allowances.

  • Type of employment: Temporary position
  • Contract type: Full time
  • Annual Salary: Approx. EUR 60,000
  • Starting day of employment: Expected starting date between 1 April and 1 September 2023
  • Number of positions: 1 – 2
  • Working hours: 37.5 hours/week

OsloMet has implemented the Charter & Code for researchers and been granted the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4) by the EU Commission and is part of the EU network for mobility of Researchers EURAXESS.

Practical information about relocation to OsloMet and living in Norway

Contact

  • Marte Mangset, Associate Professor, marte.mangset@oslomet.no
  • Jon Anstein Olsen, Senior Advisor R&I, jonanste@oslomet.no

Address: Pilestredet 46, Oslo 0350, Norway

Call application deadline: 31st January, 2022

Reference number: 21/13128

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