The research group investigated how people today see and shape their role in democracy. We payed special attention to how this relationship is shaped by online communication on an individual level. In this context, changing or newly emerging attitudes and expectations regarding political engagement in democracy - so-called emergent citizen norms - were identified on the basis of quantitative and qualitative methods and their consequences for individual political participation were analysed.
This research group conducted research at the Weizenbaum Institute from 2017 to 2022. In the newly launched research program, research will henceforth be organised in 16 research groups. These will be flanked and supported by the new Weizenbaum Digital Science Center.
We find our partners online, can give away surplus food through an app, or seek advice which political party programmes come closest to our ideals. With all these new possibilities, the question arises as to how they will change the citizens’ attitudes towards our democracy. However, we still know only little about whether and how open-mindedness towards newer forms of social engagement influences the citizens' ideas of their role in society.
The research group intended to systematically examine these processes of change: changing or newly emerging attitudes and expectations regarding political engagement in democracy – so-called emergent citizenship norms – were identified, and their consequences for individual political participation analyzed. We examined how people understand their role in democracy today with a focus on how this understanding is shaped by online communication on an individual level.
Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used for our research: guided interviews and ethnographic studies as well as representative surveys and experimental designs helped to identify, describe, and holistically explain citizenship norms and participation behavior.
Our research aimed to further develop the academic debate on participation and citizenship norms from the integrative perspective of communication science, political science, sociology, and psychology. This interdisciplinary perspective should benefit both civil society practice and the political decision-making process.
Prof. Dr. Martin Emmer, Principal Investigator, Founding Director
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pablo Porten-Cheé, Research Group Lead
To the current research program