SCOOP is a research and training centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of sustainable cooperation as a key feature of resilient societies. The centre connects research groups from sociology, psychology, history, philosophy, public administration, research methods, and statistics. SCOOP is a joint initiative by the University of Groningen (Strategic Theme  Sustainable Society) and Utrecht University (Strategic Theme Institutions for Open Societies), and also involves researchers from the VU Amsterdam, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Radboud University Nijmegen. The 2025 Vision for Science of the Dutch Ministry of Education (2014, p. 19) praised SCOOP as an “example of cross-pollination between disciplines”.


More about the program


In addition to the academic ambitions, the program wants to realise several tangible long-term gains. In order to achieve them we created the Training Center. It is organized in two sections, each of them with  a specific target. The first one is research-oriented and it is aimed at prospective students. The second is policy-oriented and its target are practitioners.

For prospective students 

The first section of our Training Center consists in a talent selection and training program to prepare the next generation of top researchers. In the spirit of the research center, students will be trained in a transdisciplinary fashion to include elements from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history.For more information on the teaching program, click here.

For practitioners

The second section of our Training Center makes use of the main results from the research center as a whole. The goal is to provide insights and instruments that can be used to train societal partners and stakeholders to foster a resilient society.

Many countries attempt to tackle rising costs and declining quality of care through reforms. For example, the Dutch government embarked on a large-scale decentralization of its arrangements.


Many countries attempt to tackle rising costs and declining quality of care through reforms. For example, the Dutch government embarked on a large-scale decentralization of its arrangements. For a large variety of care tasks (e.g. for older citizens, children, or individuals with a handicap), the national government transferred budgetary autonomy to the local community level. At the same time, those in need were asked to rely more strongly on the help of close relatives and other members of their own network, like their neighbours. With this initiative, the Netherlands joined a large group of countries that had already embarked on similar decentralizing “care in the community” initiatives. These developments illustrate the urgency of our key question: in the provision of care, how can cooperation within and between families, communities, and work environments contribute to a resilient society?


To answer this question, three challenges will be addressed in WP1. The first, Reshaping Care, focuses on the impact of the retreat of the welfare state on the interface between families and communities. This external shock will lead to a new division of care between family members, the (local) community, and formal organizations with consequences for wellbeing for both the family and society. The second challenge, Facilitating Work-Life Balance, targets spillover effects at the interface between families and organizations. Facilitating work and life balance is a topical issue: family arrangements and obligations affect solidarity at work and vice versa. The third challenge, Creating Caring Communities, deals with feedback effects at the community-organization interface. The past decades have seen the emergence of a wide range of new and alternative forms of caring communities, and the proliferation of an ever more complex organizational field of caring organizations, but its sustainability remains a question.




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