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, 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

Mark Sanders
10 October 2018
Mark Sanders takes one hour of your time to introduce the academic work of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics 2018: William Nordhaus and Paul Romer.
VPRO Tegenlicht: Ons gemeengoed. Aflevering van 1 april 2018
8 October 2018
VPRO Tegenlicht has just launched the international version of the Backlight documentary 'Our Common Good', with Tine de Moor.
3 October 2018
Why People Radicalize, written by research social psychologist and law professor Kees van den Bos, explains how the radicalization process develops.
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Events

15 - 23
Oct Nov
15 October 2018 09:00 - 23 November 2018 17:00
The tenth call for proposals for the ‘Seed Money’ initiative of strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies is now open.
22
Oct
22 October 2018 20:00 - 21:30
The Turkish president Erdogan is now more powerful than ever. How resilient is the Turkish democracy? With legal scholar Prof Başak Çalı.
26
Oct
26 October 2018 12:30 - 17:40
The workshop contributes to IOS-work on urgent societal issues that require fundamental scientific research.
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