The strength of societies is to a large extent determined by the quality of their institutions, which are the formal and informal frameworks for human interaction. These institutions – laws, customs, networks, organisations, languages, etc. – enable or constrain the realisation of an open, democratic and equitable society. They also determine a society’s ability to absorb shocks and its sustainability. 

At Utrecht University, scholars from the fields of economics, history, public administration, culture, law, sociology, social psychology, language and communication, ethics, innovation studies, and geography join forces to find answers to the following key questions: Why do societies develop so divergently? And how do institutions contribute to the formation of open and sustainable societies?

Institutions for Open Societies (IOS) is one of the strategic themes of Utrecht University.

News

© iStockphoto.com/sekulicn
15 September 2017
Alumni magazine Illuster interviewed Geert Buelens together with Director of Het Literatuurhuis Michaël Stoker about the visibility of literature in the city.
© iStockphoto.com/peterhowell
1 September 2017
Ryad and Lange received a grant to organise a KNAW colloquium to advance research in Arabo-Muslim Digital Humanities and Cultural Analytics.
Illustration MOOC
23 August 2017
Utrecht University launches again the MOOC 'Human Rights for Open Societies - An Introduction into the European Convention on Human Rights'.
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