Centre Norbert Elias (Marseille) is recruiting a researcher in social sciences (three-year contract) to join the team of the new collaborative project called « Un-making the Past, Making the Future: an intergenerational analysis of ancestral citizenship and visions of Europe« , conducted by researchers based in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Deadline: March 1st, 2024.

The project focuses on the intergenerational analysis of citizenship acquisitions specifically based on claims of co-ethnicity and bloodline. Ancestral citizenship provisions have been introduced in different European countries with the intention of unmaking the national past, trying to remedy historical mistakes, responding to shifting territorial borders or to the massive emigration that occurred due to economic hardship. Yet, they simultaneously make the future of Europe, as they are based on competing visions of Europe and constitute a legal pathway for migration.
Through a mixed methods and multi-level research design, this project analyses: 1) the reasons why citizenship laws based on bloodline emerged and how they have changed over time, in particular with respect to European integration and 2) the shifting motivations for acquiring an ancestral citizenship over time. This historically informed study will unearth the broader ramifications of this seemingly particularistic pathway on the notion of citizenship and legal mobility across the EU.
The project concentrates on the case-studies of Bulgaria, Italy and Germany and is conducted together with the Migration Department and the Cluster “Data-Methods-Monitoring” of DeZIM Institut Berlin and ISS- Erasmus University Rotterdam.



  • Further development, implementation and coordination of the whole project, together with PIs
  • Participation and organization of quarterly project meetings alongside involvement in Centre Norbert Elias meetings
  • Conducting qualitative fieldwork: analysis of Italian parliamentary debates on citizenship, biographical interviews with Italian emigrants’ descendants & stakeholder interviews and observations
  • Production of high-quality research & publication of scientific as well as non-scientific outputs, together with project members
  • Liaising with relevant stakeholders



  • Doctorate in social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, geography, political sciences and other relevant disciplines.
  • Outstanding knowledge on migration and possibly citizenship studies.
  • Solid knowledge on Italian migration is desirable.
  • Excellent writing skills for scientific and non-scientific publications.
  • Advanced qualitative methods skills. Openness to apply mixed-methods are particularly welcome and an interest in advancing such skills is required.
  • Outstanding Italian and ideally Portuguese language skills.
  • Excellent English language skills.
  • Experience of working in heterogeneous and multicultural teams.
  • Ability to present complex issues in an intelligible manner to different target groups and to formulate recommendations for political action.



The position is full time, lasts three years and starts on May 1st, 2024. We look forward to receiving applications with the necessary documentation (cover letter, CV, certificates)
– by e-mail to melissa.blanchard@cnrs.fr
– in a single PDF file
by March 1st, 2024
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Melissa Blanchard (melissa.blanchard@cnrs.fr)

The researcher will work in Centre Norbert Elias (downtown Marseille) and will be contracted by Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS (https://www.cnrs.fr/en/the-cnrs).
Remuneration is based on CNRS’ salary scale. The monthly salary is 2992,93 euros gross, which is 2405,42 euros net.
The interviews will take place in late March 2024.


About Centre Norbert Elias

Centre Norbert Elias brings together 80 researchers and doctoral students from different disciplines in social sciences: anthropology, history, information and communication sciences, sociology, linguistics, geography. Its scientific program for 2024-2028 focuses on five themes: Ecology and care; Feminist approaches; Building community; Culture and mediation; Mobilities and belonging.
Located in Marseille and Avignon, Centre Norbert Elias is sponsored by the CNRS, Avignon University, Aix-Marseille University, and is associated to three doctoral schools, and five Master’s programs. It joined the Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme in January 2024.
The centre is also involved in the coordination of the GISCOPE 84 (Scientific interest group on occupational and environmental cancers in Vaucluse), the research federation Agorantic “Culture, Patrimoines, Sociétés Numériques” and the “Fabrique des écritures ethnographiques” project.
The centre is attentive to the open science guidelines promoted by research institutions and supports the publication of three open access journals in the humanities and social sciences.