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The time when rural areas were written off wholesale is over. However, this image change has been underway for some time. Small rural towns are becoming increasingly attractive. Newcomers and old residents are revitalising villages, sometimes even in structurally weak regions far from the urban centres.

Photo and Logo: European Creative Hubs Network Association

Coworking spaces, FabLabs and Maker Spaces have so far been predominantly found in large cities. But such "collaborative workspaces" are increasingly being established in rural areas, where they provide access to digital technologies and other work resources. A new EU-funded Innovative Training Network (ITN) is now studying the effects of such places. The IRS is involved with its research department "Dynamics of Economic Spaces".

Foto: rh2010/stock.adobe.com

In fashion design, very diverse competences are combined to create something new. Increasingly, this is done via specialized digital platforms. The interplay of various platforms in creative design processes – labeled the “platform ecology” – as well as the interplay of online and offline interaction, are the topic of the lead project in research department “Dynamics of Economic Spaces”.

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Transportation, energy, communication – how do infrastructure networks get to be labelled as “critical infrastructures”? In its lead project, the research department “Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods” looks at the construction of criticality. Urban climate adaptation and energy transitions serve as fields of study.

Foto: dusanpetkovic1/stock.adobe.com

Digitalisation is more than broadband access. How do villages shape and use digital technologies to solve their problems? Who are the drivers and which problems occur? In its lead project, the research department “Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development” investigates the pathways of digitalisation in rural areas.

Migration: Governance-dilemmata of Cities

This research project investigates the dynamics of urban policy formulation in response to international migration.

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For a long time, in historical research on the GDR and the FRG, the opposition of ideologies and systems took centre stage. However, there were parallel developments too. The Department for Historical Research in its lead project looks at socio-spatial disparities in both German states, tracing both differences and commonalities.

© Rawpixel.com/fotolia.de
© Rawpixel.com/fotolia.de

Research at the IRS is focused on the spatial aspects and contexts of social action. In doing so, spatial phenomena are explored in terms of both processual and historical dimensions using social-scientific methods.

News

19. July | 2021
Reflections on the International and Transdisciplinary Conference “Emerging from Emergencies. Exploring CRISIS as a Dynamic Opportunity Structure“

Brexit, climate change, armed conflicts - are we really living in times of permanent crisis? And what does this imply for the way society should deal with crises? How can crises be used productively to learn in the long term? These questions and others were addressed at the online conference "Emerging from Emergencies". The conference opened up a perspective on a more proactive, more reflective and more open approach to crises. more info

14. June | 2021

Researching the connection between social change and spatial transformation - that is the mission of the IRS. In the future, the Institute will increasingly focus on disruptive forms of change, on crises, conflicts, technological and economic upheavals, because these increasingly shape the actions of social actors. more info

10. March | 2021

The Leibniz Research Alliance "Energy Transition" combines the expertise of 20 Leibniz institutes in the field of energy research. Under the title "Energy Futures - Emerging Pathways in an Uncertain World!", the final conference of the alliance took place from 22 to 26 February 2021. Due to the pandemic, the event originally planned for May 2020 had already been postponed once by one year. Now it was held as a purely online conference. It attracted a broad international audience of around 500 participants and was able to attract renowned keynote speakers such as Benjamin Sovacool (University of Sussex) and Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University), who have a significant influence on the field of social science energy and climate research. more info

12. February | 2021

Coworking spaces, FabLabs and Maker Spaces have so far been predominantly found in large cities. But such "collaborative workspaces" are increasingly being established in rural areas, where they provide access to digital technologies and other work resources. A new EU-funded Innovative Training Network (ITN) is now studying the effects of such places. The IRS is involved with its research department "Dynamics of Economic Spaces". more info

10. February | 2021

The IRS welcomes Expressions of Interest of excellent postdoctoral researchers for Horizon Europe MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships. The successful candidate will apply jointly with a supervisor from IRS to the European Commission Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. The candidate will receive dedicated support from a senior researcher, as well as IRS Research Management and Communication office to develop their proposal and application for submission to the European Commission by 15th of September 2021 more info


New Publications

01. July | 2021

Universities are increasingly investing in offshore locations, partly to generate revenue in the form of tuition fees, partly to achieve reputational gains. There are currently almost 500 offshore campuses worldwide. At the same time, campuses are also being closed every year. The Junior Research Group TRANSEDU, headed by Jana Kleibert, investigates the internationalisation strategies of universities. Under the title "Strategy First: Ten Questions to Answer before Starting an International Campus", Jana Kleibert, Tim Rottleb, Marc Schulze and Alice Bobée have now presented a policy paper that addresses university leaders and political decision-makers and analyses the risks of international campus developments. more info

15. June | 2021

Under the title "Nationale Solidarität und ihre Grenzen. Die deutsche 'Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt' und der französische 'Secours national' im Zweiten Weltkrieg" (National Socialist People's Welfare in Germany and the French 'Secours national' in the Second World War), the Stuttgart-based Franz Steiner Verlag published the dissertation by Daniel Hadwiger, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department for Historical Research. In his dissertation, Hadwiger examined the political instrumentalisation of welfare in the Nazi state and in the Vichy regime in a transnational comparison. more info

25. January | 2021

Over several years, the research unit "Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development" has been researching how social innovations are driven in rural areas, what problems they can solve and how they can be supported politically. Now it is publishing recommendations for practice; on the one hand in the form of a German-language policy paper, on the other hand in the form of an English-language practice manual. more info

more publications