The NRW Fortschrittskolleg is funded by the NRW Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research. It analysed how and under which conditions the potential of online participation for the local government level can be systematically developed, practically used and scientifically evaluated. Therefore the NRW Fortschrittskolleg focused on an important social challenge: the participation of citizens in decisions relevant to them. The internet offers the possibility to realize this participation online. Despite its significant potential, until now this way of participation has rarely been applied in practice.
To gain a better understanding of the characteristics of online participation and to take advantage of its potential, the NRW Fortschrittskolleg developed a comprehensive scientific basis for online participation at local government level which will be implemented and surveyed in practice.
From October 2014, eleven PhD students started their research on online participation. Their work is guided by an interdisciplinary team of professors affiliated to the faculties of law, science, philosophy, and business and economics of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf together with the research team "Politische Partizipation" of the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management NRW. In addition, a range of practice partners (e.g., Deutsche Telekom, City Administration of Cologne, Liquid Democracy e. V.) are integrated in the project.
One PhD student (Malte Steinbach) is affiliated to business administration and are mentored by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Süß.
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