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kosmopolis institute
world citizenship
Kromme Nieuwegracht 29, 3512 HD, Utrecht

T +31 30 239 02 00,

Kosmopolis Institute Education Annual Summer School on Pluralism & Development

Annual Summer School on Pluralism & Development


The annual Summer School on Pluralism & Development involves a 4 week full time program of lectures, excursions, seminars, literature study, discussion, guided individual - and small group work and assignments. Selected participants are required to prepare a pre-summer school assignment.


The course will be completed with a group presentation and paper as well as a design for a workshop that participants are expected to conduct after they return home. Students enrolled in universities can obtain 7,5 EC study credits (European Union Higher Education credits which may be transferred to other university study programs on request and after approval by the university). Upon successful completion, participants will be offered a University of Humanistic Studies Certificate in Development and Pluralism.


Participants are selected from four or five participants from our Pluralism Partners in India, Indonesia, Uganda, South Africa and the Netherlands.

Call for application Summerschool 2015.


The summer school program focuses on

- Critical analysis of (1) key concepts in development theories and their normative and empowering impact, (2) human rights, its basic values and justifications and a reflection on the claims of the universality of human rights versus human rights as a western invention and (3) key issues in social theory and cultural studies with regard to civil society building and democratic empowerment

- Exploration of concrete civil society practices from perspectives of human and sustainable development

- Theories and practices of pluralism in diverse societies

- Reflection on methods and strategies which are used by civil society based organisations in the promotion of pluralism, such as educational practices, dialogue, personal and social empowerment and civil society based community action programs

- Philosophical and ethical discussions on the basic values of cosmopolitan ethics, e.g. theories of global civil society building and democratic participation, sustainable development and global social justice.


The main aims of the Pluralism Knowledge Program

- comprehend and map existing studies and practices and generate new knowledge on core contemporary issues pertaining pluralism and fundamentalisms

- intensify links between development practitioners and academic researchers in ways that enrich both their knowledge bases with new perspectives, insights and skills

- support and empower civil society organisations to effectively design and advance new strategies, policies and practices of pluralism

- help create international networks of civil society initiatives around issues of pluralism

- translate acquired knowledge into strategies for promoting pluralism in practice


Core Staff

- Dr. Caroline Suransky (Director of Kosmopolis, Co Chair of the Promoting Pluralism Knowledge Program, University of Humanistic Studies, the Netherlands)

- Prof. Dr. Henk Manschot (Senior Fellow of Kosmopolis, University of Humanistic Studies, the Netherlands)

- Prof. Dr. Sitharam Kakarala (Senior Fellow of Kosmopolis, Centre for the Study of Culture & Society, India)

- Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir (Executive Director, Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, Graduate School, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia)

- Mr. J.C. van der Merwe (Staff Member International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State, South Africa)

- Ms. Dorothé van Driel (Executive Secretary Kosmopolis, the Netherlands)

Frank Nieuwenhuizen

I became someone else through the contact with the other participants. I am having other thoughts now than a month ago. The scary thing is one can’t really control or overlook such a situation... After a while, I probably see the worth and the beauty, but for now it is just shaky and confronting.
I developed into a more plural being.