Participation

The involvement of citizens in relevant political, administrative and organizational decision-making processes is at the core of democracy. Despite its considerable potential, online participation has only been used selectively and not always successfully for such participation up till now. In order to better understand the different dimensions of online participation and to explore their potential, the DIID aims to gain an empirically validated understanding of online participation processes and their effects. Based on this, innovative participation concepts can be developed, implemented and evaluated in different contexts.

  • Dialog-based online argumentation systems

  • Dynamics of online deliberation

  • Ethics of online participation

  • Evaluation of online participation processes

  • Digital innovations within organizations

  • Online participation in politics and administration

Dialog-based online argumentation systems

Innovative concepts for interactive, dialog-based online participation procedures and implementation of functional systems.

  • What fundamental role do argumentation and deliberation play in democratic opinion formation and decision-making?
  • How can the logic of reasoning and deliberation be transferred to computer-mediated dialog systems?
  • What are the success criteria and success conditions for online reasoning?
  • How can one evaluate the efficiency, practicability, results and effects of dialog-based systems in practical applications?

Dynamics of online deliberation

Quality of online debate, content characteristics and forms of online discourse in political participatory processes.

  • Which features of online discourse increase the quality of debate and decisions?
  • What is the effect of interaction density, controversy, emotionality and reasoning in an online debate on the emergence of majorities?
  • Under which conditions does online discourse promote consensus and which conditions lead to polarization?
  • What role do story telling or personal experiences play in an online discourse?

Ethics of online participation

Development of a digital value system as a basis for the implementation of online participation in different social contexts.

  • What role can internet-mediated public participation play in the legitimation of political decisions from the perspective of normative democratic theory?
  • What specific problems of democratic representativeness raises online participation compared to alternative methods of civic participation?
  • What are the ethical foundations for the protection of digital sovereignty and privacy and what are the implications for the normative setup of online procedures?
  • Which recommendations for the concrete organizational and legal implementation of online procedures derive from ethical considerations?

Evaluation of online participation processes

Development of a theoretical foundation and standardization of the criteria and instruments for the evaluation of online participation processes in different settings.

  • Which evaluation criteria are relevant for which context in online participation processes?
  • How can we measure input and process quality of an online participation process, its output, outcome and impact?
  • Can established evaluation models and approaches from other (offline) contexts be transferred to the evaluation of online participation processes?
  • How can evaluation results be integrated and used in online participation research?

Digital innovations within organizations

Innovation in democratic voting processes through online participation in companies and other organizations.

  • What are the consequences of online participation processes for employee participation in organizational decision-making?
  • What changes do online participation procedures bring to employees’ work processes, structures and qualification requirements?
  • Which structural and personnel conditions in an organization promote or impair the quality of online participation processes?
  • How can employees’ acceptance of the introduction of online participation in organizations be promoted?

Online participation in politics and administration

Requirements, organization and consequences of digitalization for public participation in decision-making processes in politics and administration

  • Under which conditions is online participation used in different political contexts?
  • Which organizational factors (actors, interests, resources, size etc.) have an influence on the institutionalization of online participation processes in politics and administration?
  • Who is the target group of online participation processes and who actually participates ?
  • How are online participation processes connected to the established formal offline decision-making procedures?
  • Which innovation potential and effects does online participation unfold for political decision-making procedures, political organizations and the political system as a whole?

Prof. Dr. Martin Mauve

Board, Computer Science

Prof. Dr. Martin Mauve has headed the Chair of Computer Networks and Communication Systems since 2003. Since 2015, he has been Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at HHU-Düsseldorf. His research interests include secure and robust distributed systems, computer-aided group work, and the realization of participation using Internet technology. A particular focus is on highly scalable support for discussion and decision making.

Within DIID, his interests include innovative concepts for dialog-based online participation processes and their technical implementation in functional systems.

Contact

0211 / 81-11636
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 25.12, Etage 02, Raum 41

Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders (speaker)

Board, Communication Studies, DIID-Team

Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders has been Professor of Communication and Media Studies at HHU-Düsseldorf since 2011. She is a member of the DFG research group “Political Communication in the Online World”. In research and teaching, she is concerned with public discourse and public opinion formation and examines the role of established mass media and online communication in this process.

In the context of DIID, she is interested in the deliberative quality and trajectories of online discourses in the context of political participation processes.

Contact

0211 / 81-13518
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 37.03, Etage 02, Raum 08

Dr. Katharina Esau

Alumni, Communication Studies

Dr. Katharina Esau has been a PostDoc at Queensland University of Technology, at the Digital Media Research Centre since 2022. There, she is conducting research as part of the Australian Laureate project “Determining the Drivers and Dynamics of Partisanship and Polarisation in Online Public Debate”. She holds a PhD in Communication and Media Studies from HHu-Düsseldorf on the topic of “Forms of Communication and Dynamics of Deliberation”.

Her research focuses on political communication, digital public sphere, public opinion formation and democratic innovation.

Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich

Philosophy

Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich has held the Chair of Practical Philosophy at HHU-Düsseldorf since 2012. His research and teaching focuses on political philosophy, the philosophy of law, and ethics.

In the context of DIID, he is concerned with the democratic-theoretical legitimacy of online participation procedures as well as the protection of privacy.

Contact

0211 / 81-12912
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 23.32, Etage U1, Raum 27

Dr. Katharina Gerl

Board, DIID-Team, Political Science

Katharina Gerl has been a research assistant at DIID at HHU-Düsseldorf since 2016. She studied Political Science (B.A.) at the University of Bremen and Political Communication (M.A.) at HHU-Düsseldorf. For her dissertation at the Chair of Political Science II at Heinrich Heine University, she studied the impact of digital media on political parties as organizations.

Her research interests lie in the areas of effects and acceptance of digital democratic innovations in politics and administration as well as of artificial intelligence for political opinion-forming and decision-making.

Contact

0211 / 81-14672
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 37.03, Etage 01, Raum 20

Prof. Dr. Stefan Süß

Business Administration

Prof. Dr. Stefan Süß has held the Chair of Business Administration, in particular Organization and Human Resources, since 2010. Since January 2015, he has been Vice Rector for Academic Quality and Human Resource Management at HHU-Düsseldorf. Furthermore, he is speaker of the Manchot Graduate School “Competitiveness of Young Enterprises”. His research interests are in the field of organizational theory, human resource management, new employment relationships, empirical human resource and organizational research, and higher education management.

In the context of DIID, he is interested in changes in democratic voting processes through online participation in companies and other organizations.

Contact

0211 / 81-13995
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 24.31, Etage 02, Raum 29

Prof. Dr. Stefan Marschall

Political Science

Prof. Dr. Stefan Marschall has held the Chair of Political Science II with a focus on “Germany’s Political System” at HHU-Düsseldorf since 2010. His research interests include the consequences of the establishment of the Internet on political communication and decision-making. He is spokesman of the working group “Politics and Communication” of the German Political Science Association.

At the DIID, he is primarily interested in the theoretical foundation, further development and standardization of evaluation criteria and instruments for online participation procedures in different areas of practice.

Contact

0211 / 81-14689
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 37.03, Etage 1, Raum 21

Dr. Katharina Gerl

Board, DIID-Team, Political Science

Katharina Gerl has been a research assistant at DIID at HHU-Düsseldorf since 2016. She studied Political Science (B.A.) at the University of Bremen and Political Communication (M.A.) at HHU-Düsseldorf. For her dissertation at the Chair of Political Science II at Heinrich Heine University, she studied the impact of digital media on political parties as organizations.

Her research interests lie in the areas of effects and acceptance of digital democratic innovations in politics and administration as well as of artificial intelligence for political opinion-forming and decision-making.

Contact

0211 / 81-14672
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 37.03, Etage 01, Raum 20