PhD Fellowship in Global Constitutionalism

By Jonathan Havercroft, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton

We are currently seeking a student for a PhD Fellowship on the theme of “Global Constitutionalism in an Era of Resurgent State Sovereignty”. The fellowship is funded by the ESCR and can either be used for a Master’s + PhD (a four-year program) or a PhD (a three-year program) if the student already has a master’s degree in a relevant field. Specific details about the fellowship and how to apply can be found here:

The fellowship will be for a student to undertake a research project at the intersection of law and international relations. Jonathan Havercroft, lead supervisor for the PhD fellowship, is an editor of the Cambridge University Press journal Global Constitutionalism. We are hoping to leverage the synergies between the PhD student and the journal to create both publishing opportunities for the student and increased visibility at Southampton for the theme of global constitutionalism in Politics and International Relations and the Law School. While the PhD Fellowship has a specific research question we are very open to whatever approach the research topic takes, so long as it is broadly within the field of global constitutionalism and engages contemporary questions about the rule of law, democracy, and human rights on a global scale.

Research Question: What impact is the resurgence of nationalism, populism, and anti-globalization having on global constitutional practices in international law and politics?

Background and Rationale for the Study:  Global constitutionalism is an interdisciplinary field that draws upon methods from international relation, law, and politics to identify and analyze global norms from both descriptive (i.e. what norms shape the global order) and prescriptive (i.e. what norms should shape the global order) perspectives. At the heart of global constitutionalism is a focus on the triad of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as the foundations of the contemporary global order.

In recent years all three aspects of this global constitutional order have come under attack. Brexit can be read in part as a rejection of supra-national governance institutions. The Trump Presidency is an unprecedented attack on the rule of law and human rights at both the domestic and international level. Right wing authoritarian movements in the Americas, Asia, and Europe all assert the primacy of state sovereignty against global institutions. This project invites a PhD student to write a thesis that explores how these resurgent nationalist movements are reshaping the global order.

Prospective applicants can contact Jonathan Havercroft if they have any questions. Dr. Havercroft is willing to offer feedback on possible research proposals for the fellowship. He can be contacted via email at:



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