IRS aktuell

The IRS has been publishing its own magazine “IRS aktuell” since 1993. It informs in a comprehensible way about the research work of the IRS and its relevance to current societal issues. In addition, the magazine is frequently devoted to strategic and science policy issues. It is published two to three times a year and is aimed at both the scientific community and an interested specialist public in politics, administration, business and civil society. The issues can be obtained free of charge and are available online for downloading in their entirety.

Current Issues

Foto: Monkey Business/

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. Another megatrend is digitalisation. Online shopping and mobile working - now fuelled by the pandemic - have been threatening the "business model" of expensive city centres for some time. At the same time, where connectivity is sufficient, digitalisation supports new working arrangements in rural areas and new forms of social organisation in villages. In the penultimate issue of IRS aktuell (No. 94, "Digital Tools and Visual Media"), we reported on the "Smart Villagers" - the well networked and committed villagers who find socially innovative solutions to the problems of rural areas with digital means, from the village car to the digitally bookable community house. This issue is now dedicated to the question of how innovative, digitally supported solutions for rural areas can be promoted and implemented. more infos

Foto: Patcharanan/
No 19 | July 2021

A crisis presents actors with an imminent threat, fundamental uncertainty, and a necessity to act under immense time pressure. Crises can lead into disaster, but they do not necessarily do so. Crises can also be turning points for the better. Notably, they can foster creativity and innovation. In this issue of IRS aktuell we reflect on the current coronavirus crisis, other crises like that experienced by internationally oriented universities under the conditions of Brexit, but also crisis and innovation in general. We also present some key contributions by IRS scholars to contemporary debates about crises. more infos

Foto: LaCozza/

Digital technologies affect both urban planning and rural development. This issue of IRS aktuell addresses the question, how actors in cities and villages use digital technologies to solve problems and to communicate about planning. From active ruralists who develop village apps to compensate the loss of social infrastructures and services, via urban planners who use digital tools to prognosticate the impacts of development projects, to civil society initiatives who critically engage with visual representations of such projects, it brings together a multitude of insights into research conducted at the IRS. more infos