Look carefully, think patiently and don't let yourself get fooled.

(H. Steinert, founder of IRKS)

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

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.

Conflict Resolution

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.



International Symposium on Gender and Prison Culture

Date: 16.10.2020 09:00
Location: Coimbra, Portugal bzw. Online-Konferenz


DECOUNT-Launch: Online Campaign against Extremism

Date: 04.05.2020 17:30
Location: Rooftop Urania; 1010 Vienna

New Releases


‘Muhajirun’ from Austria. Why they left to join ISIS and why they don’t return

After the proclamation of the so-called Islamic State in June 2014 thousands of Europeans, including hundreds of Austrian residents, went to fight and…



Alternative pre-tial detention measures


Strategies of extremist organisations within the education sector


Expanded, systematic hate crime data collection and reporting of the Austrian Police


Promoting democracy and fighting extremism through an online counter-narratives and alternative narratives campaign


Security Behind Bars


Electronic Monitoring as a resource for an up to date prison management


Modern Management of Police Detention Centres: Safe & Healthy Prisons

E-YOUTH works

Offene Jugendarbeit in und mit neuen Medien als Schutzmaßnahme gegen radikalisierende Internetpropaganda


Developing alternative understandings of security and justice through restorative justice approaches in intercultural settings within democratic societies

Restorative justice in cases of domestic violence

Best practice examples between increasing mutual understanding and awareness of specific protection needs

Menschen mit Behinderung in der Wr. Psychiatrie von der Nachkriegszeit bis in die 1980er Jahre

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

Frauen in der Justizwache

Eine Studie zur Chancengleichheit von Frauen in der Justizwache


Jugendarbeit im öffentlichen Raum als mehrdimensionale Sicherheitsmaßnahme: Ansätze zur Wirkungsevaluation

Desistance and Restorative Justice

Mechanisms for Desisting from Crime with Restorative Justice Practices


Assessing Security Research: Tools and Methodologies to Measure Societal Impact


Integration of Learning and Working in Adult Prisons


The Role of Judges in the Transition Management from Custody to Community

Victims and Restorative Justice

An empirical study of the needs, experiences and positions of victims within restorative justice practices


Learning Infrastructure for Correctional Services


Conflict resolution, mediation and restorative justice and the policing of minorities in Germany, Austria and Hungary


Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies


Surveillance, Privacy and Security