Arbeitsbereich: Alumni

Elena Orths

23. June 2021

Elena Orths worked as a student assistant in the DIID core team from March 2021 to March 2022, and is now a DIID alumni. At Heinrich Heine University, she is studying History and German Studies and is expected to complete her Bachelor’s degree in winter 2022/2023.

As an assistant, she was responsible for DIID-internal tasks, such as maintaining the website, among others. She is particularly interested in digital civic participation and the effects of digitalization on participation in democracies.

Dr. Mario Datts

8. June 2021

Dr. Mario Datts studied Political Science in Hanover and Berlin and finished his studies with a thesis on the pirate party. He then obtained his Doctorate at the University of Düsseldorf with his doctoral thesis on the usage of social media by political parties. Since 2018, Mario Datts has been working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Hildesheim under the thematic priority ‘politics and Internet’ and is habilitating under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marianne Kneuer. Since 2021 Mario Datts is cooperating with the DIID for examing local e-democracy in Germany.
His research interests concerns aspects of politics and digital media (e-participation, mobile participation, digital communication, social media) and methods from the field Computational Social Science.

Dr. L. Constantin Wurthmann

14. April 2021

Dr. L. Constantin Wurthmann is a postdoc in the National Election Studies team at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Chair of Political Science II at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf from 2017 to 2021. Before that, he studied the Bachelor’s programme in Political Science and the Master’s programme Theory and Comparison of Political Systems in Transition at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

In addition, he gained experience abroad through one semester each at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and the Universitatea Babes-Bolyai (Cluj-Napoca, Romania).
His research interests lie in the field of electoral, party and communication research.

Dr. Lena Masch

1. September 2020

Lena Masch is a research associate at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She studied Political Science at the University of Greifswald (B.A. and M.A.) and Social Research Methods at City University London (M.Sc.). She received her doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.) from the University of Stuttgart. At Heinrich Heine University, her positions from 2017 to 2021 included Akademische Rätin a.Z. at the Chair of Political Science II of the Institute of Social Sciences.

Her research focuses on political psychology, political sociology, and political communication. One of her research interests is the cognitive and emotional factors influencing political attitudes, especially with regard to political parties, politicians, and trust in democratic institutions.

Jacqueline Sengelhoff

13. May 2020

From July 2019 to July 2020 Jacqueline Sengelhoff was part of the DIID-Team. As a student assistant, her tasks included writing and dispatching the monthly Newsletter as well as updating the DIID website.

She studied English/American Studies and Political Science and graduated in summer 2020. Within the Cosmos of the DIID she was interested in the effects of digitization on democratic institutions and political culture.

Dr. Anna Soßdorf

12. December 2019

Dr. Anna Soßdorf, after working as a research assistant, is an alumni of DIID. She studied Social Sciences, including Communication Sciences, political science and Sociology, at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf and Media science at Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen. In 2015 she successfully defended her doctoral thesis which revolves around political participation of adolescents and the role of the internet.

Her research focuses in political education and participation of adolescents, digitisation and digital literacy, digital ethics and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Christopher Starke

21. January 2019

Since 2021, Christopher Starke works a post-doctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research and at the interdisciplinary research hub Human(e) AI of the University of Amsterdam. He is currently leading the two externally funded research projects ‘Discourse Data for Policy’ and ‘Responsible Academic Performance Prediction’ together with colleagues at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

In his research, Christopher investigates the impact of artificial intelligence on democracy. This includes the following research areas: Perceptions of fairness, legitimacy, and technocracy regarding algorithmic decision-making systems in the public sector; potentials and challenges of AI to combat corruption; political consumerism in the attention economy.

Prof. Dr. Martin Morlok

21. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Martin Morlok holds the Chair for Public Law, Legal Theory and Sociology of Law at the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf since 2002. From 1997 to 2011 he was director of The Institute of German and International Party Law and Party Research (PRuF).

His research interests are constitutional law, parliamentary law, party law, religious law, state liability law and methodology

Dr. Katharina Esau

21. March 2018

Katharina is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC), working on the Australian Laureate Fellowship project “Determining the Drivers and Dynamics of Partisanship and Polarisation in Online Public Debate”.

She holds a PhD in Communication and Media Science from the University of Dusseldorf, titled “Communication Forms and Deliberation Dynamic”. Her research focuses on political communication, digital public sphere, opinion formation processes and democratic innovations.

Dr. Stefan Thierse

16. March 2018

Stefan Thierse has been affiliated with the Institute for Social Sciences at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf since October 2016. He held an interim junior professorship for Political Science and European Integration until September 2017. He was promoted to temporary academic senior councilor (Akademischer Oberrat auf Zeit) in October 2017. Before coming to Düsseldorf, he has held positions as Research Assistant at the University of Duisburg-Essen (NRW School of Governance) and at the University of Bonn, where he received his PhD in 2015 with a work on minority rights in the European Parliament.

In his post-doctoral studies, his research interests are on the role of non-governmental organizations in the policy process, with a particular focus on constitutional complaints. As a member of the DIID, he is specifically interested in the significance of internet-based organization of political participation in the context of litigation and petitions.

Dr. Malte Steinbach

12. March 2018

Malte Steinbach works at the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy (DIID) as a coordinator. He did his Ph.D at the Chair of Business Administration, in particular Work, Human Resource Management and Organization Studies at the Heinrich Heinrich University in Duesseldorf. He studied Geography, Urban Planning and Economics at the University of Bonn.

In his master thesis he studied the use of online-participation in urban development projects in the city of Bonn. His research focuses on organizers of online-participation processes using organization theories. In his dissertation, Malte Steinbach analyzed the diffusion of Online-Participation in public organizations based on neo-institutional approaches.

In April 2020 Malte Steinbach left the DIID at his own request.

Dr.-Ing. Kálmán Graffi

10. March 2018

Dr.-Ing. Kalman Graffi is Principal Scientist at the Honda Research Institute Europe, where he heads the Reliable Systems & Software department. Previously, he was a DIID member and Junior Professor “Technology of Social Networks” at the Institute of Computer Science at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf from 8/2012 to 6/2019.

His research here includes the investigation of new social interaction possibilities over the Internet as well as mechanisms and protocols for highly scalable and secure distributed systems. At DIID, he was interested in the technical foundations for secure and robust communication systems in decentralized peer-to-peer networks under precarious conditions. Currently, he is looking at how the industrial data processing of tomorrow can be privacy-preserving and privacy-compliant.

Dr. Nicole Najemnik

10. March 2018

Nicole Najemnik was a research assistant at the University of Police and Administration (HSPV NRW) in Cologne and a doctoral candidate in the NRW Research College Online Participation. In her dissertation, she investigated factors influencing women’s participation in municipal online participation processes using the example of the citizens’ budget of the city of Wuppertal.

Her research interests include online participation, digital violence, digital divides, and inclusion and digitalisation. Nicole Najemnik has been working as an IT consultant since April 2021 and supports the public administration in the implementation of the Online Access Act (OZG).

Dr. Bastian Rottinghaus

8. March 2018

Bastian Rottinghaus worked as a research assistant at the DIID of Heinrich Heine University between October 2016 and December 2019. He studied Social Sciences (B.A. and M.A.) in Düsseldorf. From 2010 onwards, he was initially employed as a research assistant at the Chair of Sociology II at Heinrich Heine University. In his dissertation, submitted in 2015, he dealt with the empirical measurement of aspects of political competence and their effects on political participatory action. His work at the DIID focused on collaborating on a comprehensive research project on the effects and influencing factors of municipal online participation in a comparative perspective and, in a follow-up project, on the continuation of the DIID Monitor.

In his current position at the DJI in Halle, he is involved as a researcher in the evaluation of the federal programme “Demokratie leben!”.