1684 Conceptualizations of Modern Societies and Theories of Societal Change
Univ.Prof. Dr. Ingolfur Blühdorn
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/01/21 to 10/09/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/14/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/21/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/28/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/04/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/11/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/18/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/25/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 12/02/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 12/09/21 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit

This research seminar explores the relationship between a) notions freedom, liberation and emancipation, b) notions of limits, limitation and planetary boundaries and c) the project of a Socio-Ecological Transformation of modern consumer societies that is widely demanded by scientists as well as political activists. The research seminar explores normative commitments and theoretical assumptions of different strands of literature – which in many cases remain unreflected and implicit. Understandings of liberation and emancipation as well as their relationship towards agendas of limitation, boundaries and rationing for a socio-ecological transformation will be covered.

· This Research Seminar focuses on selected theories and concepts of liberation and limitation, which very are commonly used in research on the condition of modern societies, their multiple crises and their projected transformation. This semester we will focus specifically on (a) competing ways in which different actors frame freedom and emancipation, on the one hand, and limits and limitation, on the other.

· PhD theses and other research proposals will be presented, discussed and further developed.

· Publication projects will be discussed and related drafts reviewed.

· Furthermore, we will critically look at articles (from a reviewer’s perspective) which have been submitted to academic journals.

Learning outcomes

Participants acquire detailed knowledge about

· the differences between a range of ways in which liberation and limitation have been framed by particular political actors;

· the relationship between notions of emancipation and notions of restriction as well as their implications for eco-political policy approaches;

· how to develop a research proposal in the field of socio-scientific sustainability research;

· how to present a research project in the field of socio-scientific sustainability research;

· how to critically engage with academic material presented in written or oral ways.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The Seminar consists in equal parts of inputs by the Professor and by the Seminar participants. The detailed discussion of methodical articles, drafts manuscripts, published articles, and the presentation and defence of the participants’ own work will familiarize the seminar participants with modes of academic work at an advanced level.


Successful completion of this research seminar requires:

· Regular seminar attendance (monitored) and taking responsibility as lead discussant of academic texts (20%)

· Presentation and defence of the own research project (50%)

· Formal review and assessment of a research project or academic article that has been submitted for publication to a journal (30%)

Last edited: 2021-06-28