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Research AreaECONOMY AND CIVIL SOCIETY

The Research Area examines how spaces are constructed and transformed by interactive, innovative, creative, knowledge-based and entrepreneurial activity. It focuses on the complex interaction of civil society, public and private sector actors. The research focus thus pursues the goal of better understanding socio-spatial transformation processes towards a digitalised knowledge and innovation society as well as the interaction between global processes and their local effects, and to identify the related challenges. Research topics include the emergence and spatial diffusion of new ideas, novel forms of gainful and non-gainful employment, digital social innovations and social initiatives, as well as globalisation processes in the knowledge economy. Through interactive knowledge transfer, the Research Area supports cities and regions in shaping socio-economic transformation processes, increasing their adaptability to overarching developments of globalisation and digitalisation, and developing strategies for dealing with new spatial inequalities. The expertise offered by the Research Area addresses decision makers in politics, businesses and civil society, from the local to the supranational level, who deal with topics of economic development, regional development policy, rural development and innovation promotion as well as higher education policy.

 

Ongoing Lead Project

The lead project of the research focus "Economy and Civil Society" addresses profound transformation processes in knowledge and innovation societies, which in turn are characterised by disruptive events. The lead project "Post-Office" aims to understand the dynamics of change in knowledge-generating cooperation with its disruptive elements and to discuss resulting consequences for urban and rural regions. more

News

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22. March | 2022 | Publication

Especially in countries striving to transform themselves from a commodity economy to a knowledge economy, the establishment of "transnational education hubs", i.e. clusters of branch locations of international universities, is a popular location policy tool. But hopes for a transformative effect on the local economy are not always fulfilled. In its new policy paper "Developing Successful Transnational Education Hubs: Key Challenges for Policy Makers" (IRS Dialog 4/2022), the IRS Junior Research Group TRANSEDU has identified the key challenges and formulated recommendations. more info

Foto: Eric Karsenti et al and the Tara Oceans Consortium (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graphical_network.png)
07. February | 2022 | News

More than any other pandemic before, COVID-19 has been measured and mapped. However, the use of comparatively detailed data has not only proved to be a pillar of pandemic control, but also opens up new possibilities for research into epidemic outbreaks. It is striking that although the course of the COVID-19 pandemic corresponds to the known temporal wave pattern, these waves spread spatially in different ways. The new DFG-funded research project of the IRS “Socio-Spatial Diffusion of COVID-19 in Germany (CoDiff)” has been working on this point since the beginning of February 2022 in order to gain new insights into the spatially non-linear course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers involved in the project are using the existing tempo-spatial data situation to gain new insights into the spatial spread of epidemic outbreaks. more info

Events

IRS Spring Academy
Photo: William/stock.adobe.com; virus: winyu/stock.adobe.com
31. May | 2022 - 03. June | 2022
Investigating Space(s): Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches: Part 5 – Spaces of Infection

Unknown infections and mortal diseases have been threats to humankind ever since. However, it seems that with the decrease of biodiversity, hypermobility of human beings and increasing population density, the outbreak and the spreading of infections have turned into a severe global problem. COVID-19 is only the most recent case that reminds us that quickly spreading infections are and have ever been a major source for crises. more infos

Reseach Groups

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The Research Group is interested in the interactions between creative processes, work and processes of economic and social change. In this context, local manifestations of dynamics such as digitalisation, social transformation processes and increasing multilocality of gainful employment are investigated. more infos

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The Research Group is emerging from the Leibniz Junior Research Group TRANSEDU, which has been researching the globalisation and commercialisation of higher education since 2018. On this basis, the group pursues a broader research agenda on the globalisation of the knowledge economy. It is interdisciplinary in nature, but locates its contributions primarily in economic and urban geography. more infos

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The Research Group analyses processes of emergence, establishment and dissemination of novel ideas, practices and projects in rural areas, which are referred to as social innovations. more infos