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Digital Democracy Lab

English title Digital Democracy Lab
Applicant Gilardi Fabrizio
Number 183120
Funding scheme Digital Lives
Research institution Institut für Politikwissenschaft Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.12.2018 - 31.05.2020
Approved amount 236'355.00
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Keywords (2)

Computational Social Science; Digital Democracy

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Das Digital Democracy Lab unterstützt wissenschaftliche Forschung zu den Implikationen der Digitalisierung für die Demokratie.
Lay summary
Die Digitalisierung beeinflusst die Demokratie in zunehmendem Masse und in verschiedenen Bereichen gleichzeitig. Zum einen verändert die Digitalisierung die Strategien der politischen Mobilisierung und Kampagnenführung und erweitert die Möglichkeiten der Bürgerinnen und Bürger, an der Politik teilzunehmen, wobei der zunehmende Einfluss von Social Media in der Verbreitung von Informationen die politische Polarisierung ausprägt und die sachliche Basis der Entscheidungsfindung in Frage stellt. Zum anderen bietet die Digitalisierung der Verwaltung neue Möglichkeiten für Automatisierung und Rationalisierung mittels Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien, welche gleichzeitig auch grosse organisatorische und politische Herausforderungen mit sich bringen. Darüber hinaus bedroht die Digitalisierung klassische Arbeitsplätze der Mittelklasse und führt zu wachsender politischer Polarisierung zwischen den Gewinnern und Verlierern dieses Prozesses. Letztlich setzt die Digitalisierung autoritäre Regime unter Druck, indem Informationstechnologien das kollektive Handeln und die Verbreitung von Protesten erleichtern. Gleichzeitig stellt die Digitalisierung autoritären Regimen neue Mittel für die Überwachung und Repression zur Verfügung.

Das Digital Democracy Lab unterstützt wissenschaftliche Forschung zu diesen Themen. Das Digital Democracy Lab hat zwei Komponenten: das Computational Social Science Hub und die d-Dem Plattform. Das Computational Social Science Hub ist eine Infrastruktur, um einerseits verschiedene Typen von "big data" wie social media und grosse Mengen von Texten zu erheben und auszuwerten, und andererseits Meinungsforschung anhand von einem neuen Online-Panel durchzuführen. Das zweite Element ist die d-Dem Plattform, welche sich auf das Computational Social Science Hub stützt. Sie verfolgt die Entwicklung und Ausbreitung von politischen Debatten online und offline und stellt die Auswertungen in einem Format für die Öffentlichkeit zugänglichen und ansprechenden Format dar, mit einem Fokus auf die nationalen Wahlen 2019.
 
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.11.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Der Wahlkampf 2019 in traditionellen und digitalen Medien
GilardiFabrizio, DermontClau, KubliMaël, BaumgartnerLucien (2020), Der Wahlkampf 2019 in traditionellen und digitalen Medien, Digital Democracy Lab, Zürich.
Der Wahlkampf 2019 in traditionellen und digitalen Medien: Technischer Report
GilardiFabrizio, DermontClau, KubliMaël, BaumgartnerLucien (2020), Der Wahlkampf 2019 in traditionellen und digitalen Medien: Technischer Report, Digital Democracy Lab, Zürich.
Öffentliche Meinung zur eID – September 2019 (elektronische Identifizierung)
LeemannLucas, GilardiFabrizio, DermontClau (2019), Öffentliche Meinung zur eID – September 2019 (elektronische Identifizierung), Digital Democracy Lab, Zürich.

Datasets

Selects 2019 (Social) Media Analysis

Author Gilardi, Fabrizio; Dermont, Clau; Kubli, Maël; Baumgartner, Lucien
Publication date 03.07.2020
Persistent Identifier (PID) 10.23662/FORS-DS-1187-1
Repository FORS


Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
FORS Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Annual Conference of the Comparative Agendas Project Talk given at a conference Social Media and Political Agenda Setting 01.07.2020 Aarhus (online), Denmark Kubli Maël Dominique; Gilardi Fabrizio;
Annual Congress of the European Political Science Association Talk given at a conference Social Media and Political Agenda Setting 18.06.2020 Prague (online), Czech Republic Kubli Maël Dominique; Gilardi Fabrizio;
Annual Congress of the Swiss Political Science Association Talk given at a conference Digital Democracy: Research Infrastructure and Datasets 04.02.2020 Luzern, Switzerland Leemann Lucas; Dermont Clau; Baumgartner Lucien Georges; Gilardi Fabrizio; Kubli Maël Dominique;
CIS Zürichberg Kolloquium Talk given at a conference Digital Democracy Lab 14.01.2020 Zürich, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Guest speakers series, Hertie School of Governance Talk given at a conference Digital Democracy Lab: An Infrastructure to Study the Implications of Digital Technology for Democracy 13.11.2019 Berlin, Germany Gilardi Fabrizio;
Doktoratsprogramm DYNAMICS, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin Talk given at a conference Problem Definition in the Digital Democracy 11.11.2019 Berlin, Germany Gilardi Fabrizio;
Annual Congress of the American Political Science Association Talk given at a conference Comparing Party Communication Across Platforms: The Case of the EU Debate in Switzerland 01.09.2019 Washington, DC, United States of America Gilardi Fabrizio; Dermont Clau;
DSI Fellows Exchange Days Talk given at a conference Digital Democracy: How Digital Technology Affects Democracy 06.07.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss e-Government Forum Talk 03.03.2020 Bern, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Public Relations Gesellschaft Ostschweiz/Liechtenstein Talk 27.02.2020 St. Gallen, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Social Media Gipfel Talk 06.11.2019 Bern, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Rotary Club Uster Talk 10.10.2019 Maur ZH, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Demokratie-Festival BETA Talk 13.09.2019 Basel, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Parlamentarische Gruppe Digitale Nachhaltigkeit Talk 20.03.2019 Bern, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;
Neue Helvetische Gesellschaft Talk 18.02.2019 Bern, Switzerland Gilardi Fabrizio;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television «Wir gewinnen einen Einblick in eine intransparente Plattform» SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: radio, television Die Klima- und Frauen-Wahl von 2019 SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: radio, television La privacy al tempo del Covid-19 RSI Italian-speaking Switzerland 2020
Talks/events/exhibitions Passt die Digitalisierung mit der Demokratie zusammen? German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Talks/events/exhibitions Social Media im Wahlkampf 2019 German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Wie die Twitter-Debatte zum Coronavirus in der Schweiz überhand nimmt Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Wie Schweizer Politiker und Politikerinnen zu Covid-19 twittern Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Wohnungsinitiative und Anti-Rassismus-Strafnorm auf Twitter Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media 200 Sitze und 4500 + Kandidierende Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Auf Twitter kann man die eigene Bekanntheit erhöhen» SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Der Wahlkampf 2019 auf Social Media: Erste Einblicke Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Die #SBI auf Twitter Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Digitale Demokratie und online Wahlkampf German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Digitale Demokratie: Fake News oder Good News? German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Digitaler Wahlkampf - Welche Parteien auf Social Media Nachholbedarf haben SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Digitaler Wahlkampf: Twitter und Co. unter Beobachtung Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Digitaltag German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Follower, Fans und ein falsches Zitat: wie die Zürcher Ständeratskandidaten im Netz um die Gunst der NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Jung vs. Alt: Social Media ist nicht nur Tummelfeld der Jungparteien Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Keine Mehrheiten für eine eID Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media L'intervista al professor Fabrizio Gilardi RSI Italian-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Mediendominanz: Männer und Bisherige sind häufiger in den Zeitungen Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Réseaux sociaux, social und Regionen Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Stars und Sternchen: Kandidierende in den Medien Digital Democracy Lab German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Other activities Twitter account with over 2'200 followers German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland International Western Switzerland 2019
Other activities Webseite International Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Wer redet am meisten in der SRF Arena? Digital Democracy Lab Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
153472 Democratic Diffusion and the Arab Spring 01.09.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
158556 DeFacto - A Political Science Online Platform 01.06.2015 Agora
137765 Direct Democracy, Popular Majorities, and Policy Choices: The Impact of Institutional Settings on Democratic Legitimacy 01.04.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
150071 Measuring policy diffusion with automated content analysis: The case of smoking bans in Switzerland and the United States 01.08.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This project aims to establish a Digital Democracy Lab to support research on the implications of technological change on democracy.Digital technology has become an integral part of democratic processes. First, digital technology is transforming how citizens interact with the state (for instance, how we file our taxes or communicate changes in our personal situation), which promises efficiency gains for both citizens and public administration. Second, digital technology is transforming political participation through new online platforms to facilitate voting or---especially in Switzerland---collecting signatures for popular initiatives or referenda, but also to bypass traditional gatekeepers and enable new models of democratic representation. Third, digital technology is transforming how citizens form political opinions. The weakening of traditional media and the rise of social media---which are themselves a consequence of technological change---lead to a fragmentation of the public sphere and, potentially, the erosion of the factual basis of political debates and increased political polarization.To study these important phenomena, many researchers wish to take advantage of computational social science tools. An increasing number of social scientists is using, or is interested in using, these approaches, but often without much coordination. Consequently, different research teams spend considerable time and resources to redo the same basic tasks, such as construct an infrastructure to collect, store, and process text data, social media data, and other kinds of ``big data'' or online panels. Clearly, this state of affairs is highly inefficient. The goal of the Digital Democracy Lab is to establish a Computational Social Science Hub to facilitate these kinds of research, with a substantive focus on the implications of digital technological on democracy. Also part of the Digital Democracy Lab is a d-Dem platform that will showcase a proof-of-concept output of the Computational Social Science Hub that, in addition to demonstrating the potential of our infrastructure, will be of interest for the broader public.The Digital Democracy Lab will first build upon and extend existing strengths at the University of Zurich, with the help of an extensive international network of leading scholars. However, the medium-term plan is to support research done in other Swiss universities and beyond to facilitate individual projects as well as large-scale collaborative efforts.
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