Multinational corporations frequently operate in an international regulatory environment with multiple, overlapping and sometimes contradicting regulatory regimes. Different regulatory demands in different jurisdictions create regulatory complexity which may stimulate compliance with more stringent regimes, but may also create opportunities for strategic behaviour and corporate crime. This project aims to analyze the implications of parallel and/or conflicting international regulatory regimes for opportunities for corporate crime and compliance. The project raises the question how we can explain corporate behaviour in complex international regulatory landscapes. Comparative analysis and case studies are the main envisioned research methods.

The theoretical contribution of the project lies in the identification of pathways of corporate behaviour in a complex international regulatory landscape by building on the insights of International Regime Complexity. The insights on the interactions between states, international governance actors and corporate actors will be used to identify potential strategies for state and non-state governance actors to prevent corporate crime. Next to academic contributions, the project is designed to yield recommendations on how to harness the potential of public and private, legal and nonlegal actors and instruments to stimulate compliance.

Host institute and team
The project will be carried out in a collaboration between Prof. Judith van Erp (Utrecht University School of Governance), Prof. Caelesta Braun (Leiden University, Institute of Public Administration) and a PhD candidate. The PhD candidate will be employed at the Utrecht School of Governance (USG) and participate in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance (LEG) and the PhD programme of the Netherlands Institute for Governance (NIG). Coaching, a good support system as well as extensive training and education opportunities are part of the USG’s PhD programme’s strengths. The PhD candidate will be involved in the research communities of USG and the Institute of Public Administration of Leiden University, located in The Hague and part of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA), and will benefit from the interdisciplinary environment in two institutes. Research stays at FGGA and George Washington University are included in the plan. The project is funded through NWO Open Competition Grant #406.20.RB.013.

The envisioned start date is February 2022, with some flexibility.


We encourage applications from candidates who:

  • have a substantive interest and/or experience in international relations, international political economy, international regulation and/or corporate criminology;  
  • have an interdisciplinary profile or a demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary research;
  • have solid research skills and a background in comparative and mixed social science methods;
  • have excellent writing skills;
  • are team players with a substantial degree of independence.


You will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year. The gross salary ranges between €2,434 in the first year and €3,111 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions  external link (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University  external linkcan be found here.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University  external link, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance  external linkis a faculty at the heart of society, with a strong focus on social issues. Our subjects of law, economics and governance give us a strong mix of academic disciplines that complement and enhance each other. This is a unique combination and a mark of our faculty’s strength.

The Utrecht University School of Governance  external link(USG) is one of the three departments of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance at Utrecht University. USG studies public issues and public organisations in their interaction with developments in politics and society. The key question is how public and private organisations with a public task deal with current social issues, how they shape their public responsibilities and deliver public value.

Our academic research is renowned both in the Netherlands and abroad. It focuses on the key themes of accountability, professionalism, public service performance, organisational change, innovation and public leadership. We pay particular attention to public organisations such as the European Union, central and local governments, the police, the armed forces and the judiciary, and private organisations with a public task, such as hospitals, schools, housing corporations, sports organisations and cultural institutions.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact:
Judith van Erp  external link(Professor of Regulatory Governance), via  external link.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below. Applications should also include a work sample (MA thesis or a publication).

The application deadline is 15 November 2021.


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