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 (Vice Managing Director)

Computer Science, DIID-Team

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.

Contact

0211 / 81-11636
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 25.12, Etage 02, Raum 46

Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders

Communication Studies

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.

Contact

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

Katharina Esau

Communication Studies

Katharina Esau is a research associate at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Düsseldorf. She studied Social Sciences (Communication Science, Political Science and Sociology) (B.A.) and Political Communication (M.A.) in Düsseldorf.

Her research interests include online participation and deliberation, different forms of communication (argum-
entation, narration, emotional expression, humor) and the emergence of public opinion online. As part of the DIID, she is interested in online deliberation processes, automated analyses of online discussions (argument and emotion mining) and deliberative design of online discussions.

Contact

0211 / 81-11694
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 37.03, Ebene 02, Raum 12

Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich

Philosophy

Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich holds the chair of Practical Philosophy at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf since 2012.

His research interests are political philosophy, legal philosophy and ethics. As part of the DIID, he deals with the democratic-theoretical legitimation of online participation processes and the protection of privacy.

Contact

0211 / 81-12912
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 23.32, Etage U1, Raum 29

Katharina Gerl

DIID-Team, Political Science

Katharina Gerl is a postdoctoral researcher at the depart-
ment of Social Sciences at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf and 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.

Contact

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

Prof. Dr. Stefan Süß

Business Administration

Prof. Dr. Süß holds the Chair of Business Administration, in particular Organization Studies and Human Resource Management at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf since April 2010. From October 2013 till December 2014, he was Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics at the Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. From January 2015 till September 2017, he was Vice President for Quality in Studies and Human Resource Management. Moreover, he is speaker of the Manchot Graduate School “Competitiveness of Young Enterprises“ (WEJU).

His research interests focus on Organizational Theory, Human Resource Management, new employment forms, empirical human resource and organizational research as well as higher education management. In context of the DIID, he is interested in democratic voting process‘ changes through online-participation in enterprises and other organizations.

Contact

0211 / 81-13995
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 24.31, Etage 02, Raum 16

Prof. Dr. Stefan Marschall (Vice Managing Director)

DIID-Team, Political Science

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, http://notre.socialcomputing.eu/). Additionally, he is one of the Principal Investigators and Member of the Board of the Institute for Internet and Democracy (www.diid.hhu.de) 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.

Contact

0211 / 81-14689
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Gebäude 37.03, Etage 1, Raum 15

Katharina Gerl

DIID-Team, Political Science

Katharina Gerl is a postdoctoral researcher at the depart-
ment of Social Sciences at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf and 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.

Contact

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