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

Kate Raworth
11 July 2018
This year’s Social Entrepreneurship Festival connected new ways of economic thinking to new innovative business models aimed at social and environmental goals.
10 July 2018
Professor Global Economic Challenges wants to improve, among other things, the quality of pre-school education for pre-schoolers from poor families.
4 July 2018
The gap between the poor and the rich threatens to become unbridgeable. What does this mean for our chances and our children's chances?
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Events

30
Aug
30 August 2018 10:30 - 11:15
This thesis steps away from the idea that the consumer is the sole perpetrator of the obesity epidemic.
31
Aug
31 August 2018 12:45 - 13:45
Cong-rui Qiao (LLM, Law Department) provides an interdisciplinary insight into institutional resolutions of mass actions in post-reform China (1980s to 2015).
3
Sep
3 September 2018 16:00 - 17:15
The annual celebration of the start of the 2018–2019 academic year of Utrecht University will take place at 3 September 2018 at the Dom church.
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