Politics of Digitalization
The WZB research group “Politics of Digitalization” (POLDI) investigates how today’s societies make sense of and shape the digital transformation. For this purpose, the group examines and evaluates the strategies, competences and practices that contribute to the governance and regulation of digitalization and its consequences for society.
The research group’s work is based on an understanding of digitalization as a continuous socio-technical process of change. The digital transformation is not primarily technology-driven; it rather is a conflictual and reflexive process in a permanent state of flux. To investigate this transformation, the group’s conceptual work builds on governance research, discourse analysis, the sociology of technology, field theory, and the sociology of quantification and evaluation, as well as modern theories of democracy.
The empirical research of the group focuses on the political dimension of the digital transformation in a double sense: first, it views digitalization as a resource of political governance (regulation through digitalization); second, it analyses digitalization as an object of political decision-making (regulation of digitalization).
In 2017, the WZB research group contributed to the founding of the German Internet Institute, the "Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society". A subsection of the POLDI group is located at the Weizenbaum Institute. The group closely collaborates through joint publications and academic events with the Weizenbaum Institute and the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).