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Die transformative Universität in der Gesellschaft: Ein Überblick über verschiedene Konzepte

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Können und sollten Universitäten eine proaktive Rolle bei der Gestaltung einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung einnehmen und wie wäre diese Rolle gegebenenfalls auszugestalten? Die Antwort hängt davon ab, wie man das Verhältnis zwischen Universität und Gesellschaft sieht. Wer eine transformative Universität anstrebt, sollte die verschiedenen Interaktionsmodelle kennen.

The discussion about universities’ potential to play a major role in the transformation towards a sustainable society is ongoing and often controversial. This is due to different perceptions of the role of the university and its contributions to society. For this reason, a review has been carried out into theoretical approaches that frame the relationship between university and society. After a systematization and short introduction of the different approaches, we look at their common architecture in order to derive key elements that have to be taken into account if a university wants to (re-)define its relationship with society. We describe different forms of a transformative university through the lens of each approach and we highlight conflicts that might arise in comparison with the traditional idea of a university. We conclude by breaking down the results of our analysis into three questions for universities wanting to become a transformative force for a sustainable society.

Keywords: mode 1; mode 2; mode 3; reflexive modernity; research modes; science; social contract; social institutions; stakeholder theory; sustainability; sustainable society; transformative university; triple helix

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to inter- and transdisciplinary research on and for sustainability transformations.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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