Arbeitsbereich: DIID-Team

Elena Orths

23. June 2021

Elena Orths works as a student assistant for the DIID team. She is studying History and German Studies at Heinrich Heine University and is expected to complete her Bachelor’s degree in winter 2022/2023.

She is responsible for DIID-internal tasks, such as maintaining the website.

She is particularly interested in digital citizen participation and the effects of digitalisation on participation in democracies.

Viviana Warnken

8. September 2020

Since August 2020 Viviana N. E. Warnken works as an assistant for the DIID-Team. After studying Communication Studies and Social Sciences at the University of Erfurt, she is now studying Political Communication at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and is expected to complete her master’s degree in summer 2021.

Her tasks include DIID internal tasks, such as the maintenance of the website.

She is particularly interested in the areas of participation, social movements, digital media as well as (online) politics.

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.

Johnathan Seim

11. January 2020

Jonathan Seim studied Political Science and Philosophy at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and has been a doctoral fellow of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes in Philosophy since October 2019. In addition, he is currently a research assistant at the DIID and responsible for the coordination of the institute.

His research focuses on moral philosophy and political philosophy, in particular democratic theory. His dissertation deals with democratic participation rights in the context of citizen participation procedures. Although a correct allocation of participation rights is of fundamental importance for the legitimacy of those procedures, this question is not sufficiently addressed in politics or science. The aim of the dissertation project is to develop criteria for the allocation of participation rights in the context of consultative citizen participation procedures and guidance for the political practice. As a member of the DIID he is interested in requierements of legitimacy of online-participation.

Dr. Anna Soßdorf

12. December 2019

Dr. Anna Soßdorf is currently a research assistant at the DIID and responsible for the coordination of the institute. 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.

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.

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.

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.