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Justice vacancies

Postdoctoral Researcher Ecology of Programmable Infrastructures in the Context of the Administration of Justice

Delft University of Technology

Current discussions in the public sector on the "cloud" are typically reduced to data protection and digital sovereignty, providing limited opportunity to grasp the massive transformation that the adoption of cloud and mobile devices bring about for public institutions. Over the last decade and a half, we have been observing the increasing entanglement of the delivery of digital services and these computational infrastructures. Software production, the practices and material conditions necessary to deliver (AI based) services, has become a way to expand these infrastructures into different sectors. Marketed with the promise of making organizations as programmable as computational systems, these services are expected to bring with them improvements in the management of resources and economic gains. In the process, they require organizations to subscribe to technical and financial models that are likely to have broader political and economic impact than is currently imagined. 


This postdoctoral position is an opportunity to go beyond current approaches to studying the impact of cloud and mobile infrastructures. The candidate is invited to study empirically how these computational infrastructures expand into sectoral organizations and to evaluate whether current digital policies are adequate in responding to their impact on the administration of justice. To do so, the project takes a political economy emphasis and a materialist approach aimed to explore the technical, organizational and institutional transformations brought about by the introduction of computational Infrastructures with an eye on how these come to shape the administration of justice. A deeper understanding of how computational infrastructures reconfigure both public organizations and the administration of justice will serve to evaluate how these are, or are, not reflected in existing digital policies aimed to govern these developments (e.g., a Cloud-first government agenda for public institutions).

Click here to read the full project description.

Profile of the candidate

This project requires the ability to conduct interdisciplinary literature research and empirical studies combining qualitative methods and perspectives from political economy. The position requires enthusiasm for engagement with current computational infrastructures (cloud + mobile devices concentrated in the hands of a few companies), with some understanding of their technicalities, financials or everyday practices underlying their production. A critical perspective on technology production and institutional processes, as well as experience working with technologists will help in conducting the project.

Empirical foci in relation to these infrastructures can include:  

  • Current day engineering of digital services/ML-based services

  • Accounting and finance in organizations 

  • Organizational/institutional transformations due to adoption of computational infrastructures


The position requires a completed PhD in a relevant field including but not limited to STS, Computer Science, or Organizational, Software or Infrastructure studies.

Furthermore you have:

  • Proven academic interest in questions regarding algorithmic applications and digital society;

  • Interest in working in a very interdisciplinary, cross-university environment;

  • Interest in contributing to and helping to create the broader algosoc research community;

  • An excellent written and spoken command of English (written and spoken command of other languages, including Dutch, French, and/or German is a plus);

  • Affinity with organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events. 


If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.   

Developing a societal vision on automated decision making concerns us all. We believe that a diversity of perspectives in our consortium will be important in developing an inclusive societal vision and strive therefore also in our hiring policy for encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities with room for situated experiences, diverse perspectives, and ideas to flourish. This commitment applies to our research, organisation, room for flexibility, training, and community activities as well as our hiring strategy. 

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