Conflicts born out of social identities are counted among the most
enduring and difficult issues of modern politics. The 1990´s
have been called the decade of identity politics.
for Research in Ethnic and National Issues is founded to
deal with the scientific analysis of ethnic structures, national
relations, and supra-national trends and developments. Social identities
are frames of references for human behaviour and motives for political
mobilisation. Therefore, they constitute the main interest of this
institution. The paramount aims of such investigations are drafts
and conceptions for strategic solutions to such conflicts. It is
not by chance that the institute is named so that its acronym gives
the Greek word ειρηυη
(irene, in modern Greek spelt irini), that is peace.
The approach to this problem bears an interdisciplinary aspect.
Political science and sociology may form the core. Nevertheless,
economics, anthropology, cultural studies, law, linguistics and
history have to be consulted if we are longing for a better understanding
of ethnic and national relations.
The organizational structure of IRENI is three-tiered:
Head: Albert F. Reiterer
Administrative Council: This body consisting of persons concerned
with research in ethnic relations and minorities and located mainly
in Austria is in construction at the time being. It is meant to
participate in strategic planning and administrative affairs.
Scientific Board: While the administrative Council pragmatically
gives advice, this body is meant to participate in strategic planning.
As the nucleus of a international network, it consists of experts
in national and ethnic relations working on an international level.