Lead project

Conflicts in Planning: Major Projects and their Potential for Institutional Change

Research department: Politics and Planning

Project Leader within IRS: Dr. Manfred Kühn

Project Team: PD Dr. Matthias Bernt Prof. Dr. Kristine Kern Dr. Georgia Alexandri Anna Charlotta Kronvall Dr. Peter Ulrich

Duration: 01/2022 - 12/2025


The lead project examines large-scale projects as profound ruptures that shake the well-rehearsed routines of institutions and can lead to institutional change. Such ruptures occur more frequently when contradictions arise between action-oriented and participatory rationalities that are difficult for politics and planning to resolve. For the lead project, characteristic of disruptive events - in addition to the features of surprise, acceleration and uncertainty - is above all the controversial intensification that leads to an escalation of conflicts. The project examines the large-scale project of the Tesla settlement in comparison to other case studies with regard to disruptive effects on policy and planning and thus tests the transferability of the term disruption to policy and planning research. The project is particularly interested in the question of how disruptions triggered by the settlement lead to a linkage of fields of action in different sectors (economic policy, nature conservation, climate protection, infrastructure planning) and scales, or why this is omitted.

Photo: Michael Wolf, Penig, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


At the turn of the year 2021/2022, changes in the organisation and direction of IRS research will take effect. They are the result of a strategy process ("IRS 2025") that we have been conducting over the past two years. As the most important change, starting January 1, 2022, the IRS will no longer organise its social science research from a spatial perspective in five Research Departments, but in three consolidated Research Areas. more info


Kronvall, A. (2023). Large-scale Projects and the Green Transition: Key Concepts and Outlook. (IRS Dialog; Vol. 2023, No. 1). Leibniz-Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung. https://leibniz-irs.de/medien/irs-dialog/large-scale-projects-and-the-green-transition-key-concepts-and-outlook
Kühn, M. (2023, Aug 23). Konflikte bei Großprojekten und die Rolle der Partizipation: Fünf Lehren aus dem Fall Tesla. Stiftung Mitarbeit. https://www.buergergesellschaft.de/fileadmin/pdf/gastbeitrag_kuehn_230824.pdf
Kühn, M. (2023). Planungskonflikte und Partizipation: die Gigafactory Tesla. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 81(5), 538–556. https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.1698
Hesse, M., & Kühn, M. (2023). Planungskonflikte in der pluralen Demokratie. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 81(5), 422-436. https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.1710