Jan Flickschu
Jan Flickschu
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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". Two of POLDI's research projects are part of the new 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).

Niklas Weber
Mail: niklas.weber [at] wzb.eu
Fon: 030 25491-625


In the podcast "Was die EU mit uns zu tun hat" by detektor.fm, Julia Pohle explains digital souvereignty and its significance especially for the European Union.

Julia Pohle was awarded this years "Friends of the WZB Award" for her article "Digitalpolitik in Deutschland: globales Politikfeld sucht Ministerium".

Jeanette Hofmann blogs about worldwide 'Digital Tracking as a Political Program' during times of the corona crisis and evaluates the trust models associated with different 'corona app' architectures discussed in Europe (in German).

New publications

Schafera, Valérie/Fickers, Andreas/Howarth, David/Musiani, Francesca/Pohle, Julia/Winseck, Dwayne (2020): "'The Internet and the European Market' from a Multidisciplinary Perspective. A 'Round-Doc' Discussion". In: Internet Histories - Digital Technology, Culture and Society.

Berg, Sebastian/Rakowski, Niklas/Thiel, Thorsten (2020): "Die digitale Konstellation. Eine Positionsbestimmung". In: Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft/Journal of Political Science.

Hofmann, Jeanette/Kersting, Norbert/Ritzi, Claudia/Schünemann, Wolf J. (Hg.) (2019): "Politik in der digitalen Gesellschaft. Zentrale Problemfelder und Forschungsperspektiven". Bielefeld: transcript.

All publications