© rcfotostock/fotolia.de
© rcfotostock/fotolia.de
Research departmentINSTITUTIONAL CHANGE AND REGIONAL PUBLIC GOODS

The research focuses on institutional arrangements and forms of governance for collectively used goods (public goods) against the background of the interplay between centralised decision-making in a multilevel state system, on the one hand, and decentralised action on the other. In the context of the current worldwide renaissance of research on public goods, the department’s interest centres on the spatial dimensions of such goods, in what way they are interdependent and how they are constituted through social construction. Thematically, the focus is on the production, distribution and use of energy. This work is complemented by insight from the established field of cultural landscape research. From a conceptual point of view, the department explores new strands of research on institutions and public goods, and examines these from the perspective of "power", "materiality" and "people".

Photo: © rcfotostock/fotolia.de

Ongoing lead project

The lead project’s aim is to better understand the political construction and the governance of critical infrastructures in conjunction with their spatial dimension. Infrastructures are increasingly considered regarding their vulnerability to disruption and the security risks resulting from it. Political resources are mobilized to appropriately secure ‘critical infrastructures’ such as communications and energy networks. But which infrastructures are considered critical and why? Which governance approaches are used to manage infrastructure-related risks? Urban climate change adaptation and energy transitions are two fields in which the aspect of infrastructural criticality receives increasing attention. Therefore, they will be in the centre of analysis in this lead project. more

News
26. November | 2020

The Finnish city of Turku is considered a pioneer in urban climate policy. It wants to be climate-neutral by 2029. On behalf of the city and in cooperation with the Åbo Akademi University, the IRS is investigating in the project "Matching Forerunner Cities" (MaFoCi) what Turku can learn from similarly positioned cities in the North and Baltic Sea region in terms of climate protection, and what the cities can learn from each other. Now the final workshop of the project took place. The publication of results is expected in early 2021. more info

News
25. August | 2020

Leading the economy and society out of the carbon age into a climate-friendly future requires more than just a transformation of energy production towards renewable energy sources. As the current debate on a "Green New Deal", for instance, shows, there is a need for a fundamentally new way of productively using human labor, technology and investment capital. Geographical research can show how such transformations take place in space - how they are shaped by existing structures and how new things are created at different scales. Such a research perspective is developed in the new themed issue "New Energy Spaces" in the journal "Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space", which was developed with significant participation from the IRS. First research results, also in part from the IRS, are presented. more info