Projects

While the research interests comprise more general issues and fields, the DIID-based projects are in the process of being implemented. They are funded research projects or serve to prepare longer-term initiatives, deal with sub-questions or are continuations of existing projects of DIID researchers.

 

The effects of voting advice applications on political sophistication*

13. March 2018

The “Wahl-O-Mat” of the Federal Agency for Political Education has become an established and popular online tool in the run-up to elections in Germany. The aims of the Wahl-O-Mat are to inform about political issues and differences between the parties running for elections, to encourage follow-up communication about politics and ultimately to motivate people to vote. Tools like the Wahl-O-Mat are called “Voting Advice Applications” (VAAs).

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Audience and market fragmentation online

8. March 2018

There is an intense discussion in politics, economy and science about chances and risks of media fragmentation and segmentation of the audience. Other than in the US there are only few empirical studies for the German case regarding media fragmentation online. The aim of our project is to show the development of media and audience fragmentation online in Germany, to find determinants of fragmentation online, and to analyse chances and risks of media fragmentation for democracies.

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Junior Research Group: Deliberative Discussions in the Social Web

6. March 2018

User comments are a popular form of online participation, for example when citizens publicly discuss political news on social media platforms such as Facebook or in the comment sections of news media. Such discussions contain some democratic potential. However, it is not that potential that characterizes the public discussion currently, but rather hate speech, fake news, and insults.

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DFG-Project: Distances in Voting

8. January 2018

Started in 2017, the aim of this project is the systematic study of distances in voting. The computer science project is being funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a period of two years (overall budget of 285.000 Euro). Distances play a central role in different fields of voting. They are for example used to define voting systems, to study different forms of interference, and in the rationalization of voting rules.

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YOUniversity – online participation for university students

26. September 2017

YOUniversity is an online participation project that aims to enable university students to have a say in the structure and topics of their university courses. For individual seminars it brings together lecturers and their students and enables them to discuss what subjects should be discussed and how learning in the seminars is organized.

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Online Participation within the organization Friends of the Earth (NGO)

22. June 2017

The Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy (DIID) designed, implemented and evaluated an online participation process for the non-governmental organization Friends of the Earth in North-Rhine-Westfalia („Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz Landesverband NRW e.V.“). The NGO is active in the field of environmental protection and natural reserve.

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Researching the “Wahl-O-Mat” online and offline

20. April 2017

Since the German Federal Election in 2002, the “Wahl-O-Mat” has been used as an interactive online information tool by the Federal Agency for Political Education. The aims of the Wahl-O-Mat are to inform users about political issues and the differences between the parties running for elections, to encourage follow-up communication about politics and ultimately to motivate people to vote.

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Effects of local online participation and their influencing factors in a comparative perspective

8. January 2017

This research project aims to assess whether online participation processes on the local level result in changes in the political attitudes of the public. Question of interest include

  • Do online participation processes result in measurable changes in the political attitudes of those citizens who took part?
  • Do the political attitudes of participants differ from the ones held by those who did not participate?
  • Which factors influence the effects of online participation on a local level?

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DIID Monitor Online Participation NRW

8. January 2017

In recent years, citizen participation has become an important issue for municipalities. Several forms of citizen participation are possible to involve citizens in political-administrative decisions (e.g., noise-action planning or participatory budgeting). For this purpose, some municipalities increasingly use the internet.

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D-BAS Dialog-based Argumentation System

8. January 2017

With the rise of the Internet, we now have a basic infrastructure which makes participation easier for everyone independent of space and time. Online participation offers many possibilities for users as well as operators, it has an impact on political and administrative decisions. Additionally, it has the potential to strengthen their acceptance and quality.

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