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: 

We have run the first wave of our panel survey in cooperation with GESIS. Our initial sample comprises 3,000 respondents from Germany who answered questions about internet habits and political preferences. This panel survey is planned to have at least two more waves. Two papers focussing on the social media communication of politicians in the Bundestag are in preparation.

Fact sheet

2019 to 2022