CPT-57802 Institutions and Societal Transformation


Studiepunten 2.00

Individual Paper0
Group work0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MJ Voors
dr. ir. SR Vellema
Examiner(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema
dr. ir. MJ Voors

Language of instruction:



This course is part of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences Graduate programme in the MSc programmes MME, MID, MDR and MCH. You can register for the course via the registration form on the WASS website, www.wur.eu/wass. For more information, please contact WASS via wass@wur.nl (practical information) or the course coordinator (course content).

The Interdisciplinary Window (IW) Institutions and Societal Transformation engages students with an integrative debate on the entanglement of institutional rigidity and societal transformation. It examines and compares theory-led research on the roles of institutions in addressing complex and persistent societal challenges. It uses 'institution' as a bridging concept in the social sciences and focuses on the development and merits of diverse institutional theories. Students learn how to position their interest in debates within or between distinct schools researching institutions and processes through which societies gain order or produce disorder.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
-explain, review and compare three selected theoretical approaches to institutions;
-understand, compare, choose and, if possible, integrate different theoretical approaches for developing original research questions;
-present a theoretical argument about how to research flexibility and persistence of institutions;
-reflect on the methodological positions used in different scholarly traditions;
-explain the methodological consequences of the theoretical argument presented to an interdisciplinary audience.


Reading and reviewing literature, group work, four moments of intensive interaction between students and tutors, writing reviews and concept note.


- review of one theoretical reading (500 words) (25%);
- reflection (blog) on one of the discussions during the tutorial (300 words) (25%);
- individual concept note (1500 words) (50%).


To be selected by students and tutors.