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it - Information Technology

Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

Editor-in-Chief: Conrad, Stefan / Molitor, Paul

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Volume 57, Issue 6


The PhD program “Fortschrittskolleg Online Participation”

Tobias Escher / Lars Heilsberger / Martin Mauve
Published Online: 2015-12-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2015-0033


Using the Internet to involve citizens in decision-making represents both a promise and a challenge. The PhD program “Fortschrittskolleg Online Participation” brings together more than a dozen PhD students from six different disciplines with practitioners from local administration and consulting companies that initiate and implement real-world participatory processes on the Internet. This article introduces the program's main research aims and provides a summary of its structure that represents a response to the challenges of such a multi- and transdisciplinary research effort.

Keywords: eParticipation; online participation; E-government

ACM CCS: Applied computing→Computers in other domains→Computing in government→E-government

About the article

Tobias Escher

Tobias Escher is a social scientist with a DPhil in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. Having previously worked and studied in Oxford, London, Leicester and Berlin, he joined Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf in 2011 as a postdoc research fellow where he currently coordinates the PhD program “Fortschrittskolleg Online Participation”. His research interests are the design and evaluation of participatory online processes.

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Institut für Informatik, D-40225 Düsseldorf

Lars Heilsberger

Lars Heilsberger studied Sociology, Political Science and Communication Studies at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. As the former coordinator of the interdisciplinary PhD program “Linkage in Democracy” at the Institute for social sciences he joined the coordination of the PhD program “Fortschrittskolleg Online Participation” in 2014. His main research interests are sociological concepts of political stability, sociology of emotions and theories of social exchange.

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Institut für Informatik, D-40225 Düsseldorf

Martin Mauve

Martin Mauve is heading the chair for Computer Networks and Communication Systems at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. His main research interest is designing and building infrastructure for online democracies. The specific focus of his current work is on enabling large and heterogeneous groups of users to discuss complex topics online and to reach a common agreement on what actions should be taken. Professor Mauve is leading the PhD program “Fortschrittskolleg Online Participation” which is funded by the state North Rhine-Westphalia through its “Fortschrittskolleg” funding scheme.

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Institut für Informatik, D-40225 Düsseldorf

Accepted: 2015-09-19

Received: 2015-08-14

Published Online: 2015-12-01

Published in Print: 2015-12-28

Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 57, Issue 6, Pages 384–387, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2015-0033.

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