Arbeitsbereich: 01. Board

Nils Wiesel

13. May 2020

As of January 2020, Nils Wiesel works as a student assistant for the DIID-Team.

He is a student of History and Political Sciences, and currently is writing his Bachelor Thesis at the Chair of  Economic History.

Subsequent to his degree, he is planning to study Social Sciences with a focus on Political Science.


His interests lie in the effects of the Internet on the democratic processes, institutions, as well on the political culture.

Marco Wähner

21. March 2018

Marco Wähner is a research assistant at the Social Science Department and PhD-Student (NRW Forschungskolleg Online-Partizipation) at the Heinrich Heine University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Germanistik and Political Science and a master’s degree in social science from Duesseldorf.

In his master’s thesis he examined internet-specific resources as a predictor of political (online) participation.  Previously, he worked as a student assistant (WHB) at DIID especially on the YOUniversity project.  His research interests lie in the determination of success and explanation factors as well as the impact analysis of participation procedures at the local level.



Prof. Dr. Katrin Möltgen-Sicking

21. March 2018

Since 2001, Prof. Dr. Katrin Möltgen-Sicking teaches Political Sciences, Sociology and Intercultural Competences at the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management of North Rhine Westfalia in Cologne. Furthermore she is a lecturer for Project Management at the University of Kassel.

Among others, she has done some research about non institutionalized forms of political participation on the local area in Germany and Brazil and about political participation of migrants. In 2012, she spent a three-month research visit at the Federal University of Porto Alegre (Brazil) to study the forms of local political part-
icipation in Brazil.

Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders (speaker)

19. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders has been a professor for communication and media studies at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf since 2011. She is a member of the DFG research group “Political Communication in the Online-World”.

Her research deals with public discourses and public opinion formation and puts a focus on the role of established mass media and online-communication.
Within the DIID, her interest lies in the deliberative quality and the different types of processes in online-discourses in the realm of political participation.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Marc Ziegele

19. March 2018

Since February 2018, Marc Ziegele is an assistant professor of Communication and Media Studies with a focus on political online communication at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. He is also head of the junior research group “Deliberative Discussions in the Social Web” funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia. Before coming to Düsseldorf, he worked as a research associate at the Department of Communication at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, where he also graduated in Media Economy.

His research interests include participation and discussions of citizens on the internet. The DIID-based junior research group investigates how the quality and effects of public user discussions about political topics can be improved. Moreover, Ziegele analyzes the sources and consequences of people’s trust in the mass media and different aspects of citizens’ use of the social web at the interface of Communication Studies and Psychology.

Prof. Dr. Harald Hofmann

19. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Harald Hofmann teaches at the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration NRW. He is Professor of Law, Administration and Local Self-Government. He was four times advisor to the parliament of the Federal State of North-Rhine-Westphalia, concerning the reforms of the municipal law and participation.

His research concentrates on Political Participation. He is Deputy-Chairman of the “PhD programme Online Partici-
pation” and member of the “Research-group Political Participation FHöV”.

Cornelia Schoenwald

15. March 2018

Cornelia Schoenwald is a clerk at the DIID as well as at the chairs of sociology I and II. She also works for the internship office of the Heinrich-Heine University. She holds a degree as an industrial clerk.

At the DIID, she is responsible for the external funds management, personnel administration, event management, and material work.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar (vice speaker)

12. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar has held one of three chairs of sociology within the Department of Social Sciences since 2010. Since 2015, he has been Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf.

In teaching and research he mainly focuses on questions of political sociology, the sociological analysis of inequality, and the methodology of empirical social sciences.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Marschall

12. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Stefan Marschall is a full professor of political science and Chair of the division Political Science II at the Department of Social Sciences of Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf. He is a specialist on the political system of Germany, on comparative as well as transnational parliamentarism and especially on political (online) com-
munication and participation. Since 2012, Stefan Marschall is the speaker of the section “Politics and Communication” of the German Political Science Association (DVPW). Moreover, Stefan Marschall is head of the Duesseldorf Research Centre on the German Voting Advice Application “Wahl-O-Mat” and responsible for the development and implementation of the “lokal-o-mat”.

A further research focus of Stefan Marschall relating to the social and political dimensions of internet is documented by his works on political online-participation. Since 2016 he is partner in the Horizon 2020 Twinning Project Network for Social Computing Research – NOTRE (TWINN – 2015, Additionally, he is one of the Principal Investigators and Member of the Board of the Institute for Internet and Democracy ( as well as of the Graduate School “Online Participation”. For the DIID he serves as one of the two Deputy Speakers. He has conducted and published several studies on the use of online-based participation platforms within parties and parliaments in the last years.

Prof. Dr. Martin Mauve

12. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Martin Mauve is heading the chair for computer networks and communication systems at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf. Since 2015 he is also dean of the faculty for mathematics and natural sciences at the same university.

His research interests include secure and robust distributed systems, computer supported collaborative work and online participation. A special focus of his work is on scalable support for discussions and decision making. In the context of the DIID he is particularly interested in novel concepts for dialog-based online-participation and its technical realization.

Dr. Katharina Gerl

12. March 2018

Katharina Gerl is a postdoctoral researcher at the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy (DIID). In her PhD thesis she analyzed the effects of digitalization and mediatization on party organizations in Germany.

Her research focuses on the implications of digital techno-
logies for political institutions, political communication and participation. She conducted several studies evaluating the usage of onlinebased tools by political organizations. At the DIID she is also in charge of the unit that focusses on the evaluation of online public partici-
pation and the development of evaluation criteria to measure and compare the input, output, outcome and impact of digital tools for public participation.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Conrad (vice speaker)

9. March 2018

Stefan Conrad is full professor in computer science at Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf since 2002.  He has a chair for databases and information systems.  Since 2015 he is member of the Academic Senate of the Heinrich Heine University.

His research considers the analysis of large data sets, in particular, he is interested in image retrieval, the analysis of large time series, clustering, and text mining.  He has on-going cooperations with industrial partners.  Several of these cooperations were funded by the BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) in a research and development programme for small and medium enterprises. These projects dealt with opinion mining (sentiment analysis), extraction of product features relevant for users, and automated text summarization. At DIID his research interest is currently focused on automated topic extraction and content analyses of texts as well as identifying argument structures, sentiments, and emotions.

Prof. Dr. Barbara E. Weißenberger

9. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Barbara E. Weißenberger holds the Chair of Accounting in the Department of Business Administration and Economics at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf. She is also Affiliate Professor of Accounting at Bucerius Law School, Hamburg.

In her research, she is most interested in how management control system design affects managerial decision-making with respect to firms’ financial objectives as well as non-financial goals, e.g., compliance or ecological and social sustainability. At the DIID, she studies the impact of the digital transformation in firm’s business models as well as within the finance function on these issues.

Dr. Dennis Frieß

5. March 2018

Dennis Frieß is a research coordinator at the NRW-Forschungskolleg Online Participation at the University of Düsseldorf. He holds a Bachelor degree in Political Sciences, Social Sciences and Communications from the University of Erfurt and a Master in Political Communication from the University of Düsseldorf. He graduated in 2014 with a master’s thesis on the “Empirical analysis of online deliberation processes”. From 2014 until 2019 he worked as a research fellow at the media and communication department. In 2020 he finished his PhD on Deliberative Online Publics.

His research interests are political (online) communication, online deliberation and e-participation. As a member of the DIID he is interested online deliberation and democracy-related expectations that are associated with e-participation.


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Escher

5. March 2018

Tobias Escher leads a junior research group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, focused on the effects of citizen participation on quality and legitimacy of political decisions regarding the transformation towards sustainable mobility, in particular on the local level. Previously he has managed both the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy (DIID) and the PhD programme on local level online participation (NRW Forschungskolleg) of Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. His research interests are the design and evaluation of participatory processes online and offline. His particular focus is the potential contribution of citizen participation for increasing the quality and legitimacy/acceptance of political decisions. He has also developed a course on the theory and practice of online participation, a result of which has been a platform allowing students to shape their course curricula.

Tobias Escher is a social scientist with a PhD in Information Science, Communication Studies and the Social Sciences from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. To asses the opportunities as well as the limitations of digital technologies he can also rely on his basic knowledge of Computer Science. Having previously worked and studied in Oxford, London, Leicester and Berlin, he joined Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf in 2011.