digilog@bw—Dynamics of Participation in the Era of Digitalisation

Research question/goal: 

Previous research has shown that digital media participation has a positive, although yet small, effect on political engagement. While scientists have focused mostly on explaining the magnitude of this effect, this project analyses the way in which top-down and bottom-up agenda settings have been transformed by the use of digital media. This project also studies how political behaviour at the supply and demand sides has been shaped by digitalization and the more immediate interactions between citizens and political actors. In sum, this research aims to 1) disentangle whether and how parties and politicians use their online participation to influence citizens’ behaviour, 2) evaluate how citizens’ online activity affects parties’ and individual politicians’ decisions, and 3) assess the repercussions of citizens’ online activity and interaction with elites on citizens’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviour such as the degree of trust citizens attach to political institutions.

Current stage: 

In June 2021, we launched the second wave of our panel survey, which comprised ~1,600 respondents. This wave included a survey experiment on how the source of information affects satisfaction with democracy. The third wave of the panel survey was conducted between 8 and 10 October, i.e. just two weeks after the German federal election. Around 1,200 persons participated in this last wave. In addition to questions about online behaviour, questions about coalition preferences, modern sexism, attitudes towards vaccination, and environmental policies were included.

Several papers using these data are in preparation, some of which have already been presented at the Digilog colloquiums, the EPSA Conference, and at the DVPW Congress. Researchers of the project also wrote blog articles and disseminated preliminary results of the project to the public by participating in events of the digilog@bw consortium.

Fact sheet

2019 to 2022