Social Sciences

Land Governance and the Politics of Fair Transitions

Welcome to the IOS Fair Transitions / LANDac (the Netherlands Land Academy) Summer School “Land governance and the politics of fair transitions: Deepening the search for social justice”.

This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.


Course Level
ECTS credits
3.0 ECTS
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


Starting point for the Summer School is the recognition that ongoing transitions in the name of climate change and clean energy are deeply unfair in multiple ways. The picture is grim: New climate policies and green investments, meant to save the planet, place huge burdens on people and land in the  Global South as well as on land inhabited by marginalized populations in the Global North.
While climate and environmental justice is becoming part of global transition parlance, the latest COP28 agenda for the promotion of ‘carbon markets’ is giving new impetus to practices of land grabbing, for instance; and laws, regulations, and institutions, that are designed to make policies and investments more ‘inclusive’ generally fail to do so. As a result, inequities are deepened and the means of marginalized people to protect their rights, lands, waters, forests, pastures, and territories are increasingly put under pressure.

To turn the tide and deepen the search for social justice, this course builds on the invaluable experience of actors in land governance on land grabbing, on protecting and defending rights through land tenure reforms, on advocacy and grassroots activism and connects it to exploring 'decolonial’, more-than-human perspectives in debates on fair transitions, and its potential for strengthening solidarities. During the course we will explore both theory and practice with representatives of several faculties (Geosciences; Humanities; Law, Economics and Governance) in collaboration with artists, and scholars from the South.

Outline of the Summer School
Week 1: Theorizing fair transitions in land governance

  • Introduction: Land governance and fair transitions
  • Land frontiers and urban governance
  • Land grabbing, food security and donor interventions
  • Land rights, land in conflicts , and gender in land governance
  • Land frontiers and energy transition

Week 2: More than human social justice in land governance?

  • Theory: More than human social justice and art
  • Democratic futures, human rights and land governance
  • Indigenous voices, decoloniality, race and environmental justice
  • Rights of Nature in land governance
  • Closing: More-than-human solidarities?


Core faculty:

  • Dr. Ir. Janwillem Liebrand
  • Dr. Harrison Awuh
  • Dr. Wytske Chamberlain


Target audience

The course is designed for Master’s students, PhD students, academics; as well as for practitioners from development organizations, projects and governments who are interested in or work in the fields of land governance, development studies, natural resource management, planning, human rights and conflict studies.

Aim of the course

The course is co-organized by the IOS Fair Transitions platform and LANDac. MSc students, PhD students and professionals from development organizations and related projects will acquire up-to-date knowledge on new land governance and fair transitions debates and learn how to place these in broader theoretical contexts.

Topics are discussed in interactive lectures, as well as within a group assignment. The design of the course allows for participants to closely work together with professionals, experts and fellow students from a variety of backgrounds. Topics are discussed from a range of perspectives and disciplines, with contributions from Dutch and international academics as well as development practitioners.

The lectures in the two-week course provide a general overview of important themes within the land governance and fair transitions debates, and introductions to diverse ways of conceptualizing these themes. The group assignment will complement this general overview and theoretical framework by participants the space to explore the issues and trends in specific contexts through case study analyses.

The summer school this year will only take place in-person.

Study load

Mo-Fri from 10.00 - 17.00

Participants of the Summer School will be awarded with a ‘certificate of participation’, equivalent to 3 ECTS. The assignment will consist of the making a portfolio with group members (4 5 persons per group) group). Each group member is invited to deliver an individual contribution, and/or collaborate in the design of a joint product, depending on personal preferences and professional orientation.
Products that could fit the portfolio: academic papers, proposals, policy briefs, advocacy campaigns, video’s, podcasts, art work, and/or other creative input.
The assessment of the portfolio’s will consist of (group) presentations at the final day of the Summer School, with verbal feedback of core faculty members.


  • Course fee: €575.00
  • Included: Course + course materials

There are no scholarships available for this course.

Participants to this course of the Summer School qualify for a reduced fee of €50 to the preceding IoS Fair Transitions / LANDac conference & summit. Information on this event can be found on the LANDac website. Kindly send an email to to apply for this reduction.

Additional information

Housing for July 8 to July 12 is fully booked for new applications. For hotel and hostel options click here.

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order.