MC Dissidence in Leadership

Faculteit Honours College
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode HCMMC03501
Vaknaam MC Dissidence in Leadership
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I (The Masterclass sessions will take place on the 17th and 24th November and 8th December 2021 (2 x 3h meetings and 1 x 2h final session in which students will present their (group) assignments)
ECTS 1
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam MC Dissidence in Leadership: “What Would Bert Röling Do?”
Leerdoelen The main aim of the Masterclass is to challenge students to test their own ideas on the relationship between leadership and innovative thinking and dissidence. By the end of the Masterclass students will be able to: understand and explain the role of innovative thinking and dissidence in producing and progressing different fields of research;
 analyse and assess the role of inter-cultural understanding in making leadership decisions;
 value interdisciplinary approaches in tacking global challenges;
 critically reflect on how to apply these insights to their own future professions.
Omschrijving Dissidence: the act of publicly disagreeing with and criticizing the government or a powerful person or group (Cambridge dictionary)

Leadership is commonly associated with innovation and creative thinking. However, what is infrequently addressed is that when someone has a new or different way of thinking about something, they will likely cause controversy. In many instances, today’s pioneers were yesterday’s dissenters. This Masterclass offers a critical discussion of leadership in connection to dissidence and innovation. Can one be a leader and innovative thinker without stirring the waters? Dissidents drive progress or do they just remain on the fringes? Are innovative thinking and dissidence essential features of leadership or do they challenge leadership?

The Masterclass will have a concrete compass: we will study, by way of example, the work of Judge and Professor at the University of Groningen Bert Röling. Röling was a pioneering legal mind who devoted most part of his career to international law. His thinking was avant-garde – he introduced new ways to look at international law and he created news fields of interdisciplinary research (e.g. polemology, peace and security studies, including the role of nuclear power and science). He wore many hats in his leadership roles: a national judge, an international judge sitting on the bench of the Tokyo Tribunal in the aftermath of WW II, a professor and a legal advisor for the government. Röling is famous for his persistent dissidence: he openly critiqued the Dutch government’s practice in former colonies; and he wrote a Dissenting Opinion attached to judgment of the Tokyo Tribunal arguing that the majority failed to address intercultural issues in understanding international relations.

Aspects of Röling’s work will serve as a valuable starting point in our meetings linking to and discussing real-life case studies spanning across academia, research, public and private sectors. Examples include:
 Innovative researches who used to be dissents vis-a-vis the scientific status quo. Some of these peoples’ work subsequently became part of our conventional wisdom (e.g. Galileo, Einstein, Popper); other peoples’ work remains on the fringes (see Kuhn’s theory on paradigm shifts).
 Advisors and public servants: is there room for them to (publicly) oppose the official position of a government? In the extremis, there are high profile cases of whilst-blowers or high-level officials who quit and publicly explained why could not remain silent in good conscience.
 Leaders in the tech private sector: there is a recent, notable exodus of high-level executives (e.g. computer and software engineers) from the biggest Silicon Valley’s companies. They dissent with how technology is currently used and they a took a leadership stand by stepping down and starting to create new tools.
Uren per week variabel
Onderwijsvorm Discussiebijeenkomsten, Hoorcolleges, Presentatie(s), Zelfstudie
(Meeting sessions will be very interactive (if possible, a podcast format will be adopted). Students are expected to do self-study as per the material assigned and to actively participate in the meeting sessions.)
Toetsvorm Groepsopdracht(en), Peer reviews, Presentatie(s), Video
(For their assessment students will be invited to identify and briefly discuss in a video (up to 5 minutes) their own leadership case study/leader involving innovation and dissidence. Subject to the final number of students participating in the Masterclass, students will be divided into pairs or groups of three. Students will present their assignments in the final session. The assignments will be assessed by their peers and the course coordinator.)
Vaksoort Honours College-Master
Coördinator PhD. A. Rachovitsa
Docent(en) PhD. A. Rachovitsa
Entreevoorwaarden Only available for students who have been accepted into the MA Honours College Programme.
Opmerkingen The following condition (Article 3.6 of the EAR, to be found in your Student Portal under Organizations) applies: “Except in the event of extraordinary circumstances, all Master’s Honours Programme course units have a 100% attendance requirement, which includes preparation for and active participation in the course units.”
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Honours Master  (3. Masterclasses) 1 semester I keuze