2203 Conceptualizations of Modern Societies and Theories of Societal Change
Univ.Prof. Dr. Ingolfur Blühdorn
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/19/23 to 10/01/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/12/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 10/19/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 11/09/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 11/16/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 11/23/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 11/30/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 12/07/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 12/14/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106
Thursday 12/21/23 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM D4.3.106

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the idea of a socio-ecological transformation of modern capitalist consumer societies is – like the ideas of sustainability and sustainable development before it – increasingly being portrayed as an illusion that has run its course. Major strands of the eco-sociological literature continue to conceptualise the socio-ecological crisis and possible ways of addressing it from the perspective of the established normative commitments of the eco-critical tradition. This research seminar raises questions about the continued usefulness and, indeed, tenability of these approaches. It focuses primarily on the book manuscript Unhaltbarkeit. Auf dem Weg in eine andere Moderne (in German; to be published towards the end of 2023). We will collectively read and discuss each of its chapters (in German).  


·        PhD theses and other research proposals will be presented, discussed and further developed (in English);

·        publication projects will be discussed and related drafts reviewed (in English); and

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

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.
Attendance requirements

Regular attendance is required and will be monitored.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The Seminar consists in equal parts of inputs by the Professor and by the Seminar participants. The detailed discussion of the main text, 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%)

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Last edited: 2023-08-10