Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology

James Coleman Symposium

The next James Coleman Symposium will be organized on Friday, March 31, 2023, 13:00-17:00h in Utrecht (Academy Building Utrecht University, Belle van Zuylen Room).

Social Resilience – Transdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainable Cooperation

Improving the resilience and sustainability of our societies remains a key challenge for policy makers and scientists alike. Institutions and behavioral changes that foster cooperation at all scales are key to resilience. But what should these institutions look like? Combining insights from sociology, psychology, history, and philosophy into a joint conceptual framework, and actively engaging with societal stakeholders, the inter-university Sustainable Cooperation (SCOOP) program uses a transdisciplinary approach to solve this puzzle. During this year’s JCA Symposium, Bas van Bavel (historian, UU), Naomi Ellemers (psychologist, UU), Martin van Hees (philosopher, AUC) and Liesbet Heyse (sociologist, ICS/RUG) & Nina Hansen (social psychologist RUG) will present their insights on social resilience and sustainable cooperation. The day will be chaired by the director of the SCOOP Program, Rafael Wittek (sociologist, ICS/RUG).

Your can register via this registration form.


Plaatje programma web 6mrt


The Ethics of Cooperation
Martin van Hees, Amsterdam University College
What contribution can philosophy make to the empirical study of social processes? A standard answer is that philosophy brings conceptual clarity. This answer not only is somewhat condescending but also seems to lack descriptive accuracy: clarity is not taken to be the usual effect of the interference by philosophers. In an analysis of the ethics of cooperation, I given an alternative account of the value of bringing philosophy in.

Resilient organizations: Investing in organizational morality to maintain a social license to operate
Naomi Ellemers, Utrecht University
External stakeholders such as consumers, investors, communities and regulators increasingly expect organizations to attend to broader social concerns such as environmental sustainability, human rights protection, business integrity, and general social value creation. Psychological research reveals that these expectations easily threaten the moral identity of people in organizations, and raise defensive responses. This offers a different perspective on what is needed to allow organizations to adapt to changing stakeholder expectations and maintain their social license to operate.

Societal Resilience in the face of Natural Hazards and Shocks
Bas van Bavel, Utrecht University
Using the historical record as a “laboratory”, we can try to analyze the factors that make societies resilient in the face of exogenous shocks. This introduction highlights the crucial importance of the institutional arrangements at the meso- and macro-level, in order to understand the success and failure of societies confronted with natural hazards.

Transdisciplinary collaboration in practice – the case of refugee integration in the Netherlands
Liesbet Heyse (University of Groningen) & Nina Hansen (University of Groningen)
SCOOP’s point of departure is that transdiscplinary collaboration is needed to improve societal resilience and sustainability. Such collaborations not only mean interdisciplinary cooperation within academia, but also – and especially – collaboration with societal actors. Using projects in the domain of refugee integration as an example, this presentation illustrates what forms transdisciplinary collaboration can take and what insights and challenges it can bring.

Your can register via this registration form.

Live stream
Please note that we we will arrange a live stream link shortly before the meeting.

Information about previous symposia organized by the JCA can be found here:  list symposia JCA.

In the spotlight

Volkswagen Foundation Grant for Basak Bilecen

Project 'Do migrants in Europe age well? A mixed methods and intervention study in four countries (MIG-AGE)’ rewarded

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