Internship for Master's Student (M/F) (4-6 months) History of economic thought, energy, sustainability French-speaking corpus in Belgium

Internship for Master’s Student (M/F) (4-6 months) History of economic thought, energy, sustainability French-speaking corpus in Belgium

Internship for Master’s Student (M/F)
History of economic thought, energy, sustainability
French-speaking corpus in Belgium

Conditions:

Contract period: 4-6 months (negotiable), full time

Date d’entrée en fonction: March 1st, 2023

Salary: A monthly allowance (ca. 600€ per month) plus leave entitlements are included, according to CNRS’s
terms and conditions

Workplace: CIRED – Nogent-sur-Marne

Application:

To apply for the position, please send by e-mail to Antoine Missemer (i) a CV, (ii) a short cover letter (1 page max.) explaining why you are motivated and have a suitable background for the
project, and (iii) the name and e-mail address of the referent teacher/professor with whom the internship agreement will be discussed.

Deadline for application: December 31st, 2022. The results will be communicated by 15-20 January 2023.

Context

The internship (4 to 6 months) will be part of the ERC Starting Grant project ETRANHET – ‘Energy Transitions in the History of Economic Thought (19th-20th c.)’ hosted by CNRS, CIRED Paris,1 and consisting in exploring and analysing how the economic discipline, and economists, have dealt with energy issues since the early 19th century, in different market-economy contexts (5 areas: Continental Western Europe, the British Isles, North America, Latin America, Japan). Research questions include: how did past economists conceive the role of energy in economic growth and development? How did they consider the role of technology in energy transitions? What role did they play in the design of energy policies around the world? What lessons can be drawn from history to address today’s sustainability challenges?

The selected candidate will contribute to this collective project, crossing the fields of economics, history of ideas, science and technology studies and political science, by working on one specific corpus, under the supervision of one team member (currently 1 researcher + 2 post-doctoral fellows).

Activities

One of the corpuses to be explored in ETRANHET is the Italian speaking-corpus, especially after the Risorgimento (mid-19th century) and throughout the 20th century (until the early 1980s), with the exception of the Mussolini period. The selected candidate will assist the researchers working on that corpus by conducting a literature review of the potentially relevant contributions to the history of energy and sustainability issues in Italian economics. He/she will then be asked to identify the authors who more specifically contributed to controversies such as those over the theoretical determinants of the mining rent. Bibliographic and biographical tools such as Scopus, WoS, Gallica, CIPEI’s database (and others) will be mobilised. The selected candidate will have to report on his/her results by writing notes and/or by building literature maps for the research team – further guidance will be given in this direction.

The selected candidate is expected to work on the French-speaking corpus in Belgium. He/she will assist the researchers of the project by conducting a literature review of the potentially relevant contributions to the history of energy and sustainability issues in Belgian economics, and by conducting biographical surveys of particular authors. Some of the more prominent Belgian
economists wrote in French: in the nineteenth century this includes Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912), Charles Périn (1815-1905), Émile de Laveleye (1822-1892), Paul-Émile De Puydt (1810-1891) and in the twentieth century Fernand Baudhuin (1904-1977) among others. Did these prominent economists write about mining, optimal exploitation rates, and energy (in)dependency issues at all? Were there other more specialized economists (or mining engineers who did not necessarily identify as economists) who worked on the economics of resources, either at a macro or more micro-level? How did they see the role of coal in the Belgian economy and what was their outlook for the eventual end of coal and possible transitions to other forms of energy such as oil and nuclear? The selected candidate will be invited to work with the team members working on the Dutch case to compare to what extent two neighbouring small market economies developed different ideas about resource use.

Bibliographic and biographical tools such as Scopus, WoS, Gallica (and equivalents in Belgium) will be mobilised. Besides these tools and databases, the economics faculty at the University of Liège might be a favourable starting point for research. Here, in 1838, an Ecole des Mines was founded as well and some French-speaking economists were based there. It will be possible for the candidate to consult archival sources in Belgium, under the supervision of team members.

The selected candidate will have to report on his/her results by writing notes and/or by building literature maps for the research team – further guidance will be given in this direction.

The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to participate in the regular research activities taking place at CIRED, including seminars, conferences and reading groups.

If the selected candidate has to write a Master’s thesis for his/her curriculum, he/she will be invited to work on one particular author/episode/controversy among those identified during his/her literature review to contribute to the historiography of energy and sustainability economics in Europe in general and Belgium in particular (e.g. debates about mine closures, transition from coal to alternative energy, role of oil imports in economy, etc.). Team members will be available to help the selected candidate, and time will be allowed for him/her to write his/her thesis, during the last weeks of the internship

Profile
  • Master’s student (4th or 5th year of university) in economics, history of ideas, economic history, energy history, science and technology studies, political science, or a related field;
  • Language skills: English (at least B2-C1, working language), French (B2-C1, corpus language);
  • Computer skills (not mandatory, to be improved during the internship): MS Office, Acrobat Pro (for optical recognition of characters), Zotero (for bibliographic collections), concept mapping software;
  • Other skills: organisation, rigour, teamwork, good written expression.
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