Tallinn University of Technology

Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance has organized Reading Seminars since 2017 with the aim to discuss interesting texts, exchange ideas and dwell on different perspectives of a specific topic. In 2023, the theme of the online reading seminars is "Innovation" and the topics of the reading seminars' 4 meetings range from global challenges, transformative government and sustainability, industrial modernity to technical democracy. 

Spring semester 2023 reading seminars at Nurkse institute

Each reading seminar will have a guest speaker who will present one of his/her recent papers followed by a discussion opened with a commentary by a guest respondent.


Each session takes place on MS-TEAMS, 15.00-16.30 (CET+1)

02 March: Session 1 – Global challenges

Text: David Ludwig, Vincent Blok, Marie Garnier, Phil Macnaghten & Auke Pols (2021), ‘What’s wrong with global challenges?’, Journal of Responsible Innovation. https://doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2021.2000130

Guest: David Ludwig (Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands).

Discussant: Alex Pazaitis.

23 March: Session 2 – Transformative government and sustainability

Text: Rik B. Braams, Joeri H. Wesseling, Albert J. Meijer & Marko P. Hekkert (2021), “Legitimizing transformative government: Aligning essential government tasks from transition literature with normative arguments about legitimacy from Public Administration traditions”, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2021.04.004

Guest: Albert Meijer (Utrecht University, Netherlands).

Discussant: Veiko Lember.

20 April: Session 3 - Industrial Modernity

Text: Laur Kanger, Peeter Tinits, Anna-Kati Pahker, Kati Orru, Amaresh Kumar Tiwari, Silver Sillak, Artjoms Šeļa & Kristiina Vaik (2022), ‘Deep Transitions: Towards a comprehensive framework for mapping major continuities and ruptures in industrial modernity’, Global Environmental Change. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102447

Guest: Laur Kanger (University of Tartu, Estonia).

Discussant: Erkki Karo.

11 May: Session 4 – Technical democracy

Text: Yannick Barthe, Morgan Meyer, Göran Sundqvist (2022), ‘Technical problematisation: A democratic way to deal with contested projects?’, Science, Technology and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/0971721821995584

Guests: Yannick Barthe (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France), Morgan Meyer (Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, France) and Göran Sundqvist (University of Gothenburg, Sweden).

Discussant: Jaanus Müür.


Past Nurkse reading seminars' topics include the Philosophy of Technology, Philosophy of Public Administration and in 2022, the theme of the seminar was "Future(s)", in which topics related to sustainability, innovation, growth/degrowth, green transition, environmental ethics, intergenerational ethics etc. were discussed.

The 2023 seminar series is supported by the European Union funded project Public Administration Capabilities for Digital and Sustainable Transition (Grant agreement ID: 101079227).