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The EUI has an open vacancy for a

The EUI has an open vacancy for a Research Assistant in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Florence, 25 August 2022 Reference: V/RA/RSC/36/2022 Who we are The European Universit

The EUI has an open vacancy for a

Research Assistant in the

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Florence, 25 August 2022

Reference: V/RA/RSC/36/2022

Who we are

The European University Institute (EUI) at a glance:

  • an international organisation set up in 1972;
  • a research university focusing exclusively on postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral studies, and

advanced research;

  • located in the hills overlooking the city of Florence, Italy.

The Institute also hosts the Historical Archives of the European Union.

The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) is an inter-disciplinary research centre at the heart

of the European University Institute (EUI). It was established in 1992 to complement the four EUI disciplinary

departments (Economics, History and Civilization, Law, Political and Social Sciences) with the aim to be involved

in both basic and policy research, collaborate with other centres of excellence in Europe, provide opportunities

for young scholars and promote dialogue with the world of practice. The Centre’s goal is to maintain an

environment and support structure that fosters intellectual curiosity and excellent research. The research agenda

of the Centre is currently guided by three major themes: Integration, Governance and Democracy; Regulating

Markets and Governing Money; and 21st Century World Politics and Europe.

Employment details

Contract type Full-time (30/30, 40 hours/week)

Length of contract One year. Start date as soon as possible.

This contract may be further renewed (several times and conditional to the

availability of funds), leading to an extension of the period of service up to a total

of 5 years, including the first contract period.

Salary indication and Grade: ASTAC1b, step 1


The basic net monthly salary after taxes is approximately 2670 Euro, plus

allowances if applicable.

More information about conditions of employment is available here.

Place of work Florence, Italy

About the project

Project Directors Primavera De Filippi and Erik Jones

Project details Blockchain Gov is an interdisciplinary research project that will study the impact

of blockchain technology on new and existing governance systems, and its

consequences for legitimacy and trust. Blockchain Gov is a 5 year long project

(2021-2026), EU-funded (ERC grant of €2M) and hosted at the Centre National de

Recherche Scientifique (France) and the European University Institute (Italy), with

Principal Investigator and advisors from the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard


The project will investigate the governance of existing blockchain systems, and

analyze the power dynamics at play within these systems. This will be done

through the study of formal and informal governance practices in existing

blockchain communities, analyzed in light of legal and political theory. The project

relies on both an empirical and theoretical approach, with a view to develop a

theoretical framework for distributed governance. It will explore the use of

blockchain technology to support new models of distributed governance

characterized by more decentralized and participatory decision-making, greater

transparency and accountability. Drawing from these insights, the project will

elaborate new distributed governance practices for blockchain communities that will

be tested and implemented by selected pilot communities. Finally, the project will

assess and support the adoption of the new governance models at the community

level, at the institutional level and at the global governance level.

Job description The research assistant will provide research assistance to the Directors of the

project. Main tasks include:

  • Exploring the multiple meanings of “trust” in different disciplines: trust as

security, trust as relationship, trust as the flipside of risk, etc.;

  • Investigating the impact of blockchain technology on both confidence and

trust and the inherent limitations of a “trustless” technology;

  • Exploring how public/permissionless or private/permissioned blockchains

can serve as a “regulatory technology”, using technological guarantees to
achieve specific regulatory or policy objectives (e.g. promoting more
transparency, auditability and accountability);

  • Exploring the use of blockchain-based mechanisms as a means to increase

confidence in the information system of public or private institutions, with a
view to restore confidence and trust in these institutions;

  • Investigating new ways of embedding constitutional constraints into the

technological fabric of these information systems, to promote a greater
degree of compliance between the rule of code and the rule of law;

  • Exploring the extent to which the affordances and constraints of these

blockchain-based solutions can be regarded as functionally equivalent to

the requirements enshrined in existing laws and regulations (e.g.

formalities and reporting obligations) and whether this may justify a

reduced regulatory burden for those that incorporate these solutions into

their information system;

  • Guiding other team members in investigating (a) the operations of both

formal and informal governance structures in blockchain communities and
(b) how blockchain technology can serve as a regulatory technology, using
technological means to achieve specific regulatory or policy objectives;

  • Contributing to the drafting of a monograph and an edited volume;
  • Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team (legal scholars, social

researchers, data scientists, designers, computer scientists) to support
pilots communities who will experiment with new governance structures;

  • Presenting the main outcomes of the research in international

conferences, and publish in leading research journals;

  • Maintaining fluent communication with international academic groups,

blockchain projects and the developer community to facilitate collaboration
and to promote cross-pollination.

Qualifications and experience

Qualifications and Essential:

Experience MA in Legal Philosophy, Legal Theory, Constitutional Theory, Political

Theory or related fields;

  • Demonstrated interest and pre-existing knowledge in several of the

following topics: blockchain technology, peer-to-peer technologies,
distributed governance, commons-based peer-production, science and
technology studies, Internet governance and politics;

  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams, autonomy, critical thinking.


  • PhD in Legal Philosophy, Legal Theory, Constitutional Theory, Political

Theory or related fields;

  • Research publications in relevant conferences and/or journals;
  • Active or passive participation in existing blockchain communities or


  • Demonstrated interest and previous experience with decentralized


  • Proven experience in agile methodologies, research projects and

multidisciplinary teams;

  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills, collaboration, empathy and


  • Interest or demonstrated experience in social movements, activism,

commons-oriented initiatives, co-ops, and/or open collaborative


Excellent knowledge of English, both written and spoken (CEFR level: C1 or

above). Knowledge of other languages (CEFR level: B1 or above) constitutes an


How to apply

Deadline The closing date for applications is 8 September 2022 at midnight (Florence


Contact details For more information contact Maria Elena Cau,

How to apply Fill in the online application form and upload documents as requested

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