Jan Flickschu
Jan Flickschu
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". 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).

Antonia Kroll
Mail: antonia.kroll [at] wzb.eu
Fon: 030 25491-625

Administrative Office of the Weizenbaum Institute



Dr. Karin-Irene Eiermann


Maite Vöhl


Julia Pohle moderates the keynote with discussion "The Blind Spot of UN Digital Diplomacy: The Growing Problem of Digital Disinformation" by Oxford Prof. C. Bjola (DGVN event), 28 October 2019.


Thorsten Thiel and Julia Pohle co-organize the annual Internet Governance Forum Germany (IGF-D), 11 September 2019.

New publications

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


Pohle, Julia (2019): "Verliert das Internet Governance Forum an Bedeutung?". In: VEREINTE NATIONEN, No. 5/2019.


Hösl, Maximilian (2019): "Semantics of the internet: a political history". In: Internet Histories: Digital Technology, Culture and Society, advance access 29.08.2019.


Hofmann, Jeanette (2019):  "Mediated democracy – Linking digital technology to political agency" In: Internet Policy Review - Journal on Internet Regulation, Vol. 8, No. 2.


Kerr, Aphra/Musiani, Francesca/Pohle, Julia (2019): "Communication and Internet Policy. A Critical Rights-based History and Future - Editorial". In: Internet Policy Review - Journal on Internet Regulation, Vol. 8, No. 1