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

Prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf. Foto: Milette Raats
15 June 2018
The Stevin Prize of 2.5 million euros is an individual award intended to foster knowledge transfer and serve as a token of appreciation in this regard.
Bureau met stapels papier en voeten erop
30 May 2018
The Vidi is awarded for Tummers research proposal 'Lazy Bureaucrats- Studying stereotypes of civil servants and its effects across countries'.
Prof. dr. Oscar Gelderblom. Bron: YouTube (still)
29 May 2018
JLEO is a prestigious journal in the field of Law and Economics.
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Events

19 - 20
Jun
19 June 2018 09:00 - 20 June 2018 20:00
The latest academic insights on social entrepreneurship from top researchers, workshops and high-profile guests.
20 - 21
Jun
20 June 2018 - 21 June 2018
The aim of the workshop is to shed light on the interplay of our vulnerability to bias and distortion and our capacity to outsmart such bias by reasoning.
4 - 6
Jul
4 July 2018 09:00 - 6 July 2018 16:00
Scholars, representatives of cooperatives and policy makers will exchange the state of the art on building and strengthening cooperatives in different sectors.
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