1509 Conceptualizations of Modern Societies and Theories of Societal Change
Univ.Prof. Dr. Ingolfur Blühdorn
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/08/22 to 10/07/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/13/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 10/20/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 10/27/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 11/03/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 11/10/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 11/17/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 11/24/22 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.0.047
Thursday 12/01/22 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 12/15/22 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM D4.3.106

The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have significantly changed public understandings of and attitudes towards the project of a socio-ecological transformation of modern capitalist consumer societies. This research seminar explores current challenges to and ongoing reconceptualisations of this project of societal transformation. It explores the repoliticisation and repackaging of normative commitments and theoretical assumptions of different political actors and strands of the academic literature – which in many cases remain unreflected and implicit. In particular, 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. Furthermore,

  • PhD theses and other research proposals will be presented, discussed and further developed;
  • publication projects will be discussed and related drafts reviewed; and
  • 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 interrelationship between current theories of late-modern societies and the challenges agendas of socio-ecological transformation currently have to confront;
  • new controversies about the meaning and desirability of a socio-ecological transformation;
  • the repercussions of the COVID-Pandemic and the war in Ukraine on the project of the socio-ecological transformation;
  • 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: 2022-09-06