Cross-departmental project

Disruption and Spatial Development: Concepts on Spatio-temporal Dynamics, Modes of Perception and Strategies for Action


The bridge project "Disruption and Spatial Development: Concepts on Spatio-Temporal Dynamics, Perceptions and Strategies for Action" continues the conceptual elaboration of the disruption heuristic, uses it to interpret empirical findings in the lead project research (and beyond) and, conversely, incorporates suggestions from the empirical research of the lead projects into the further conceptual development.
IRS bridge projects are institute-funded research projects that develop common conceptual foundations for a specific topic - which lies at cross-purposes to the lead projects - and carry out empirical bundling. They serve to bring together the expertise of the research priorities on a subject and to further develop it collaboratively. However, we understand the collaborative format "bridge project" not only as a structured opportunity for cross-focus collaboration, but also as an important instrument with which we take up new topics, conceptualise them in a novel way and thus jointly profile the IRS as a whole.

The Bridge Project will focus on the following questions:
- What spatial ranges and spatio-temporal spreads of disruptions can be observed?
- To what extent are there spatially and temporally unevenly distributed perceptions of disruptive events?
- Which strategies of action do actors pursue in the context of disruptions, or which logics of action are established in dealing with disruptions?
- How can reflections on disruption be put to use for knowledge transfer?
To this end, previous conceptual approaches and empirical findings will be reviewed and new conceptual contributions will be developed.

Photo: Nuthawut/


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


Christmann, G., & Kusenbach, M. (2024). Disasters. In W. H. Brekhus, T. Degloma, & W. R. Force (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism (pp. 529-548). (Oxford Handbooks). Oxford University Press.