Look carefully, think patiently and don't let yourself get fooled.
Sociology of Law
The tension between law in the books and law in action cannot be reduced to a merely ideological problem. The complex interplay of political processes producing legal statutes, their practical implementation and the output produced constitute a field of research for the Institute. One of the key questions to be answered here is: Can law be considered as the core medium to control social processes and what kinds of alternatives can be envisaged?
Security research is a relatively new interdisciplinary field of research. Reaching beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of Political Science, Criminology and Sociology security studies are driven primarily by research problems and not by theoretical concepts. Theoretical challenges such as the blurring of boundaries between internal and external security and the encompassing securitization of all social domains are addressed in the Institutes research endeavours.
Inclusion & Exclusion
In the social sciences as well as in social politics, the two terms of "inclusion" and "exclusion" have established themselves as terms for the definition and analysis of critical social situations, marginalisation phenomena and exclusion processes in the last decades. The research interests of the institute include questions of societal participation, practices and institutions of social control and support, occurrences of discrimination and protective measures against it as well as the analysis of alternatives to excluding and punitive social practices.
Only a small number of conflicts in everyday life are handled by police and courts. The IRKS has been doing research on various types of conflicts and on alternative modes of conflict resolution. These alternatives focus on reconciliation as opposed to punishment and seek the active participation of the parties involved: first of all the victim and the offender. The IRKS has performed research on the pilot projects of victim-offender mediation, first in juvenile criminal law (1984-1988), and later in general criminal law (1992-1995).
Following up on this involvement the IRKS has been a partner in various European (AGIS, COST, and FP7) research projects dealing with the topic of "Restorative Justice" as well as contributing to conferences, seminars and workshops dedicated to this topic.
Zeithistorisch-sozialwissenschaftliche Fallstudien zu Pavillon 15 "Am Steinhof"/Otto-Wagner-Spital und Abteilung für entwicklungsgestörte Kinder am Neurologischen Krankenhaus Rosenhügel im Gesamtzusammenhang der Wr. Psychiatrie und Behindertenhilfe