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LANDac Summer School

IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac

Annual Summer School 2023

Fair Transitions and the Politics of Land: Institutions and Imaginaries for Inclusive Futures

During summer the University of Utrecht, in cooperation with UMC Utrecht, Hogeschool Utrecht and Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, offers a variety of courses for students and professionals all over the world through the Summer School. In the last 30 years, the Utrecht Summer School offered a wide selection of around 150 courses in nearly all scholarly disciplines combined with social activities and excursions.

This year the IOS Fair Transitions Platform and the LANDac join hands in hosting a range of lectures at the crossroads of the fair transitions and land governance debates in the context of climate change. The summer school is structured around the joint challenge of finding ways to make transitions fair and inclusive for human and non-human life. We look forward to an exciting transdisciplinary collaboration that we hope will draw many of you to Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Like our IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac Conference 2023, this year’s Summer School links debates about fair transitions with questions about how land is governed and controlled in the context of multiple crises. The energy transition, net-zero ambitions, nature protection, and food system transformation all involve claims on land, water, and forests. How these claims are framed, analysed, and governed, how access to land is organised, and who gets a seat at the table to discuss key decisions are questions of urgent concern from both a fair transitions perspective and a land governance perspective.

More than ever, land is scarce and the transitions on the agenda take place in a context of high inequality at multiple scales and levels. Exclusionary pathways of transition lead to highly unfair distributions of ‘costs and benefits’ of the effects of climate change and mitigation measures. Under the current conditions of capitalism and authoritarianism, climate, food security, and biodiversity imperatives may lead to the loss of access to land and resources, and propel a deepening of existing social, economic, and political inequalities. Feminist, post-colonial and intersectional critiques from across the globe suggest ways to rethink these issues and expose false solutions. The growing awareness that fair transitions in our times have to take into account non-human life in all of its articulations, asks for a serious change of perspective. Rethinking justice and inclusion from this perspective is hugely challenging, in land governance and beyond. 

The current situation raises urgent questions as to how these transitions will and should be governed, and how dynamics of deepening exclusion and inequality should be addressed and prevented. The challenges ahead call for theoretical, historical, legal, and empirical analysis, feeding smart and sustained action. During the two-week course these different angles will be highlighted. Working in groups of people from different backgrounds and will shape an integrated view that will be formulated in the form of a manifesto underlining the important roles of land governance in realizing fair transitions.

The assignment

The assignment of this year’s summer school will revolve around translating attempts to address the above concerns into a vision for fair transitions through land governance. By the end of the Summer School participants will have jointly developed a manifesto for land governance to be published and disseminated via our networks.

During the course participants will start working in groups each focusing on a different theme during allocated timeslots while also attending different discussions, lectures and an excursion hosted by professionals from different disciplines. Such as academia from Humanities, Geosciences, International Development, Law, Sustainable Development, but also practitioners and activists involved in debates around fair transitions and land governance.

Towards the end of the second week, participants will exchange their learnings in a World Café setting and work towards the presentation of a joint manifesto that brings together all the different insights and perspectives. The manifesto will contain lessons for different stakeholders ranging from policy makers, to donors, people within climate transitions, practitioners, grassroots organizations and more.

More information
Check the Utrecht University Summer School website for more information, or contact us at if you have any questions.