Cancelled Sociological Perspectives on the Green transitions

Course content

This course provides students with the conceptual tools needed to understand, analyze, as well as critically and constructively engage with ongoing societal transformations induced by climate change, biodiversity and other ecological crises, colloquially known as green transition. It builds on scholarship and meso-level theories founded in environmental and climate sociology, branching also into other literatures to ask foundational questions about society-wide change towards sustainability: how much of it is currently happening across societal sectors, domains, and levels; how has it or is it currently being brought about; what shapes, conditions, or hampers more of it? To pose these questions in macro-sociologically adequate terms, the course starts by reviewing debates on two contrasting diagnoses: the risk society diagnosis of Ulrich Beck and the ecological modernization diagnosis of Maarten Hajer, John Dryzek and others. At stake here is the questions of the place of environmental concern, policy, and practice in reworking (late) modernity. From here, the course delves into the main institutional vectors of green social change, covering in turn questions of:

a) socio-technical change (green technological innovation, changing infrastructures);

b) political-economic change (shifting modes of governance and politics, new circular market models);

c) mobilization-driven change (environmental social movements, urban green communities);

d) changing North-South relations (new globalized inequalities, climate justice activism);

e) everyday practice change (emerging consumptions habits, new social distinctions and divisions);

f) cultural value change (continuity and change in moral valuations of ‘nature’ in the Anthropocene).

Throughout, focus is on understanding present-day green social change in light of historical experience and meso-level sociological theory, with a view to taking stock of what near-future changes lie ahead. Alongside examining the various substantive dimensions of green transition, we will also discuss adequate methodological strategies affiliated with the different problem complexes and vectors of social change. Throughout, students work on aligning analytical and methodological strategies via case analyses.


Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

  • Master Programmes in Sociology
  • Master Programme in Social Data Science
  • Master Programme in Political Science
  • Master Programmes in Anthropology 
  • Master programme in Global Development
  • Master Programmes in Economics

Enrolled students can register the course directly through the Selfservice a KUnet without a preapproval.
Please contact the study administration at each programme for questions regarding registration.

The course is also open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities


Course package:

Welfare, inequality and mobility
Knowledge, organisation and politics
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life

Learning outcome

On successful completion of the course, the student is able to:


  • account for the central concepts, theories, and empirical tendencies and analyses regarding social aspects of green transition, as covered in the course syllabus



  • identify and discuss strengths and weaknesses in how the approaches introduced in the curriculum facilitate analysis of different social aspects of past, present, and on-coming green transition processes
  • describe and analyse concrete empirical phenomena (cases) related to green transition in contemporary societies
  • select appropriate concepts, theories, and empirical insights pertaining to uncertain and contested aspects of green transition
  • assess the strength and weaknesses of the different approached covered in the course syllabus in relation to concrete dimensions of the green transition



  • convincingly present sociological concepts, theories, and analyses related to green transition in an appropriate format, via concrete case studies
  • critically discuss strengths and weaknesses of own work on topics related to the green transition, starting from the content of the course syllabus

The course will combine lectures, class discussions, student presentations and peer-feedback workshops. A number of guest lecturers engaged in various practices related to green transition will be invited, and the course may possibly involve one or more site visits (where relevant).

A reading package consisting of introductory texts and research papers will be provided for the course, including Diane Stuart, 2021, What is Environmental Sociology

Participants are expected to have at least two years of undergraduate training in social science or the equivalent thereof, providing similar knowledge of sociological theory and social scientific methodology.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Throughout the course, peer-feedback workshops provide students with assistance in selecting and evaluating their exam-related case studies. In these workshops, instructors will provide additional, overall feedback on students’ case work.


Towards the end, a ‘mini-conference’ is held in which course instructors and fellow students will provide feed-back on student presentations in preparation of the final, integrative leg of the portfolio exam

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Free written take-home assignment
Exam registration requirements

Credit students must be at master level.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Find more information on your study page at KUnet.

Exchange students and Danish full degree guest students please see the homepage of Sociology; and





This is an elective course. We can only guarantee that the exam can be taken during the 3 immediate exam periods after the course has ended

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 200
  • Project work
  • 86
  • Exam Preparation
  • 70
  • English
  • 412


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

See timetable.
Department of Sociology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Anders Blok   (3-6768724679756934717b346a71)

Anders Blok, e-mail:

Saved on the 04-01-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students