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dialog@hhu is the participation platform of the Düsseldorf Institute for Democracy and the Internet (DIID). Participation projects of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) are carried out on this platform.

The Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy was founded in 2016. The aim of the institute is to analyze and develop the potential of the internet for democratic innovations and to provide a framework within which interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects can be pursued. Based on systematic theory construction and empirical research, the opportunities and risks of the internet are to be investigated in the areas of citizen participation, public communication and political mobilization as well as in companies and other organizations.

How can we measure and evaluate the effects of online participation processes? How can online technologies be protected from anti-democratic misuse? How might digital technology change decision processes in economic organizations? How can we improve the deliberative quality in online discussions? How is it possible to analyze vast amounts of content from participation processes automatically? Which ethical and legal questions do we have to take into consideration in the context of online participation? These are only a few of the questions which more than 40 scientists from a diversity of backgrounds are currently working on under the auspices of the DIID. In addition, the DIID has a service unit which offers supervision and evaluation of online participation processes to external clients.

The study of the success and risk conditions of digital innovations from basic research to practical application is the mission of the Institute.

  • Research into the variants, dynamics and effects of digital innovations,
  • Development of new technical and organisational concepts
  • Testing of systems and processes in practice
  • Evaluation of output, outcome and impact of digital processes
  • Transfer of knowledge and concepts to society

One main focus is on the possibilities of participation being opened up in various social contexts by means of the Internet but also on the dangers of their anti-democratic misuse. The research results serve to develop new scientifically based models for the democratic use of the Internet and to further their implementation.