POLDI Gruppenfoto 2023
Katya Rösch
Main content

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).


Yuting Tang
Mail: yuting.tang [at] wzb.eu
Fon: +49 30 25491 625

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin


Research stays and internships

Please address all requests and applications for guest research stays and internships via e-mail to yuting.tang [at] wzb.eu.

New publications

Berg, Sebastian/Koster, Ann-Kathrin/Maschewski, Felix/Matzner, Tobias/Nosthoff, Anna-Verena (2023): "Algorithmen der Alterität –Alterität der Algorithmen. Überlegungen zu einem komplexen Verhältnis". In: Behemoth - A Journal of Civilization (Special Issue), 15(2), 1-16.


Klipphahn, Michael/Koster, Ann-Kathrin/Morais dos Santos Bruss, Sara (Hg.) (2023): Queere KI. Zum Coming-out smarter Maschinen. KI-Kritik/AI Critique, Bd. 3. Bielefeld: transcript, 264 S.


Staab, Philipp/Thiel, Thorsten (2022): "Social Media and the Digital Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Theory, Culture & Society", 39(4), 129–143. 


Fritzsche, Kerstin/Pohle, Julia/Bauer, Steffen/Haenel, Fabio/Eichbaum, Felix (2022): Digitalisierung nachhaltig und souverän gestalten. CO:DINA Positionspapier 10. CO:DINA.


Hofmann, Jeanette (2022): "Demokratie und Künstliche Intelligenz". In: Digitales Deutschland, 05.07.2022.


Hofmann, Jeanette (2022): "Digitale Infrastrukturen im Wandel". In: Bürger & Staat, Jg. 72., H. 1/ 2-2022, S. 56–62.


Schwarting, Rena/Ulbricht, Lena (2022): "Why Organization Matters in “'Algorithmic Discrimination'”. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie. doi:10.1007/s11577-022-00838-3.


POLDI to listen in

In the Weitergedacht podcast series (thinking ahead), Dr. Julia Pohle and Isabel Skierka, Program Leader for Technology Politics at the Digital Society Institute at the European School of Management and Technology Berlin, discuss the connections between digital sovereignty and the future of democracy in Europe. Both women are part of the expert group of the Alfred Herrhausen Society's "Digital Europe 2030" project, in the context of which the podcast was produced.

The podcast deals with the question of how the EU can shape digital policy in such a way that the collection, analysis and utilization of data take place for the democratic benefit of society. 


Dr. habil. Lena Ulbricht's research focuses on the use of digital technologies and the transformation of state power. She analyzes the regulation of technologies, the control of platforms and resistance to digital technologies. Here is a podcast in which she talks about her research. 


In this IT-BUSINESS podcast, Dr. Julia Pohle explains what is important in a self-determined data economy.


Unfair algorithms: Our guest researcher and mathematics graduate Paola Lopez (University of Vienna) speaks with a data protection lawyer about data sovereignty in this podcast.


29 - 30 January 2024

More Events