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, 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

28 April 2017
Ann Rigney co-edited the special issue 'Audiovisual Memory and the (Re)Making of Europe' of Image [&] Narrative on transnational memory culture in Europe.
25 April 2017
The Utrecht Data School developed the Data Ethics Decision Aid (DEDA) to trace ethical issues in data projects.
Barbara Vis
20 April 2017
The Executive Council has appointed prof. Barbara Vis as professor of Politics & Governance at the Utrecht University School of Governance.
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Events

27 - 1
Mar Jun
27 March 2017 - 1 June 2017
We are pleased to invite applications to the WINIR PhD School on “Institutions, Innovation and Societal Change” from 12 to 14 September 2017 at the UU.
24 - 6
Apr Jun
24 April 2017 - 6 June 2017 09:00
Call for Seed Money Proposals
3
May
3 May 2017 20:00 - 22:00
The Association for Public Administration (VB) and IOS host a meeting on science and administrative practice during which we discuss the future of cities.
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