Institutions and Societal Transformation - 2 ECTS

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.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Fri 16 February 2024 until Fri 8 March 2024

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

1. Explain, review and compare three selected theoretical approaches to institutions;

2. Understand, compare, choose and, if possible, integrate different theoretical approaches for developing original research questions;

3. Present a theoretical argument about how to research flexibility and persistence of institutions;

4. Reflect on the methodological positions used in different scholarly traditions;

5. 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 four interactions with tutor (300 words) (25%)

- Individual concept note (1500 words) (50%)


  • 16 February, 15.40-17.10
  • 23 February, 15.40-17.10
  • 8 March, 15.40-17.10

Target group and min/max number of participants:

All MSc students and PhD candidates with a genuine interest are welcome.

Assumed prior knowledge:

Two completed master level courses in one of the MSc programmes MME, MID, MDR and MCH.


The sessions will be held in building “De Leeuwenborch”, Hollandseweg 1 in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The exact rooms will be announced later.

Course fees

WGS PhDs with TSP € 220
a) All other PhD candidates b) Postdocs and staff of the above mentioned Graduate Schools € 490
All others € 700

Cancellation conditions:

Participants can cancel their registration free of charge 1 month before the course starts. A cancellation fee of 100% applies if a participant cancels his/her registration less than 1 month prior to the start of the course.

The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

The participants will be notified of any changes at their e-mail addresses.