Foto:Christian Müller/

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.


14. December | 2021
Methodological Implications for Digitalization Research in Rural-Peripheral Areas

For almost two years now, researchers are confronted with new challenges in adapting their research to the transforming socio-spatial conditions. Previously planned research designs lose their validity, field approaches have to be redefined, social actors in public space sometimes remain invisible. This is often particularly true for research in peripheral spaces, as not only are planned field research suddenly replaced by other field access strategies on the home computer, but also the digital equipment of these spaces is often less adequate. more info

13. October | 2021
Interview with Early Stage Researchers Federica Ammaturo and Chen Gao on the CORAL Innovative Training Network’s Introductory Event

In September 2021, the members of the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network (2021-2024) “CORAL ” met online for their one-week Introductory Event. For the first time, all 15 newly recruited Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) employed by the network’s nine partner organisations were able to meet and exchange. At the IRS and supervised by Suntje Schmidt, Federica Ammaturo and Chen Gao are currently starting their research on the roles of rural collaborative workspaces in regional development and in entrepreneurial ecosystems respectively. Here, they share their impressions of the event and their experiences of starting work in an EU-network – and in almost-rural Erkner, where the IRS is located. more info

29. September | 2021

An article co-authored by IRS researcher Peter Eckersley, together with Charlotte Burns (Department of Politics, University of Sheffield) and Paul Tobin (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester), has been awarded the 2020 “Best Paper Prize” by the Journal of European Public Policy. The paper, “EU Environmental Policy in Times of Crisis”, quantifies the level of ambition of European environmental legislation and tracks the decline of ambition following the global financial crisis of 2009. more info

10. September | 2021

On 1 September 2021, the new Leibniz Research Association "Value of the Past" began its work. It unites 20 institutions of the Leibniz Association, ranging from institutes of history and cultural studies to social and environmental sciences and research museums. The IRS is represented in the network with its Research Area “Contemporary History and Archive”. more info

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

Upcoming Events

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

02. June | 2021

Europe has been cooperating across borders for a long time. Since its existence, the EU has initiated numerous cross-border cooperations. But are such formal cooperative relationships also brought to life by the local population? Political scientist Peter Ulrich examined this question in his doctoral project using four European example regions. His dissertation was recently published as a book. more info

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