Research for Democracy

The Association for Interactive Democracy is dedicated to research on the opportunities and risks of technology for democracy, social cohesion, inclusion, and conflict management. In this context, the main focus is on deliberation, credible decision-making, and democratic self-organization.

The association shares research results with the scientific world, and practitioners in the field.

Communicating Across Political Fault Lines – Reaching the 'Unreachable'

Los Angeles, California

Andreas Nitsche and Martin Kaplan, Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society, meet at the Thomas Mann House to discuss what can be done to re-enable dialogue between segregated parts of society.

Photo: VATMH

UNDP conference “Technology & Strengthening Democracy”

Islamabad, Pakistan

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has invited Andreas Nitsche, Board Member of Interaktive Demokratie e. V. - Association for Interactive Democracy to attend the conference “Technology & Strengthening Democracy”.

Photo: Burhan Rasool

“Conectados por la Paz” - Peace in Colombia's internal armed conflict

Bogotá, Colombia

The Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OACP) to the Colombian government has invited Andreas Nitsche, Association for Interactive Democracy, to attend the conference “Conectados por la Paz” organized by OACP, MinTIC and FiP.

Photo: OACP

“Political Parties and the Citizens”

Yangon, Myanmar

Organized by ASEF Singapur,
International IDEA Stock­holm,
Hanns Seidel Foundation Munich.

Photo: Hanns Seidel Foundation

International launch of
“The Principles of LiquidFeedback”

The Hague, The Netherlands

Ingrid van Engelshoven, deputy mayor and alderman for Education and Public Services of The Hague receives the first copy of “The Principles of LiquidFeedback”.

Photo: NIMD

Enabling the Digital Democratic Revival:
A Research Program for Digital Democracy

by Davide Grossi, Ulrike Hahn, Michael Mäs, Andreas Nitsche,
Jan Behrens, Niclas Boehmer, Markus Brill, Ulle Endriss, Umberto Grandi, Adrian Haret, Jobst Heitzig, Nicolien Janssens, Catholijn M. Jonker, Marijn A. Keijzer, Axel Kistner, Martin Lackner, Alexandra Lieben, Anna Mikhaylovskaya, Pradeep K. Murukannaiah, Carlo Proietti, Manon Revel, Élise Rouméas, Ehud Shapiro, Gogulapati Sreedurga, Björn Swierczek, Nimrod Talmon, Paolo Turrini, Zoi Terzopoulou, Frederik Van De Putte
on January 30, 2024

This white paper outlines a long-term scientific vision for the development of digital-democracy technology. We contend that if digital democracy is to meet the ambition of enabling a participatory renewal in our societies, then a comprehensive multi-methods research effort is required that could, over the years, support its development in a democratically principled, empirically and computationally informed way.

» Read more…

Innovations in Equity — Contextualizing U.S. and International Perspectives | Germany and Europe

by Ulrike Hahn, Michael Mäs, Andreas Nitsche
on July 24, 2023

National Coalition for Equity Impact (NCEI) Summit #2
in Santa Monica, California

This is the transcript of the debate on Using Deliberative Conversation Methods to Bridge Divides and the panel on Building Bridges with Algorithms — Standards for a Strong and Equitable Digital Democracy, presenting German and European experiences and perspectives.

» Read more…

National Coalition for Equity Impact (NCEI) Summit #3:
Centering Innovations in Equity — Developing Green and Smart Infrastructure Solutions in Communities, Municipalities, and Global Contexts | Los Angeles, California

on May 22, 2023

Los Angeles Green New Deal is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive programs for greening a metropolitan area. Aiming at carbon neutrality and sustainability generally requires utilizing extensive digital networks, efficient and inclusive data economy applications, and smart city solutions.

» Read more…

National Coalition for Equity Impact (NCEI) Summit #2:
Innovations in Equity — Contextualizing U.S. and International Perspectives | Santa Monica, California

on April 26, 2023

A discussion about ‘Innovations in Equity - Contextualizing US and International Perspectives’ and the many promises and perils of inclusive practices across spaces, including, standards development, neurodiversity, digital equity, algorithms/machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The goal of this summit is to articulate ways that we might co-create responses to inequities in these spaces in order to support the inclusion of marginalized populations equitably in public policy decisions.

» Read more…

Algorithmic Technology for Democracy

on October 10, 2022

Scientists from both sides of the Atlantic gather at the Lorentz Center in Leiden for a one week workshop in order to discuss digital democracy, social networks, algorithmic fairness, social influence, argumentation, and collective intelligence.

» Read more…

Communicating Across Political Fault Lines – Reaching the 'Unreachable'

on July 31, 2022

In recent years, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have observed the rise of populism along with growing levels of polarization and radicalization. Democracies are challenged by disinformation and online social networks have reshaped the way in which public opinion forms. Democratic societies experience a lack of dialogue between parts of society. At the Thomas Mann House, Martin Kaplan, Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and 2022 Thomas Mann Fellow Andreas Nitsche get into conversation about what can be done to re-enable dialogue between segregated parts of society taking differences and commonalities between Germany and the United States into account. They explore the nexus between quality journalism and the prospects of large scale deliberation. They also address (new) communication strategies and their ethical implications.

» Read more…

An Interview with 2022 Thomas Mann Fellow Andreas Nitsche

on May 18, 2022

What is it like to live and work in the former home of the Mann family? What topic will you be pursuing during your fellowship? And what are you most looking forward to during your time here in California? The Thomas Mann House sat down with Andreas Nitsche, Computer Scientist and 2022 Thomas Mann House Fellow, to talk about his project and time in California.

» Read more…

Restoring Public Trust (VATMH Los Angeles)

on April 07, 2022

Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles hosted a four-day, multi-platform program in April 2022 with innovators from academia, artistic fields and politics to discuss concrete steps for restoring public trust in Germany and the U.S.

» Read more…

Liquid Democracy—A Transatlantic Affair

by Andreas Nitsche

On both sides of the Atlantic, liquid democracy continues to strike a chord in the field of democratic self-organization. By embracing individual freedom of choice, it seeks to reconcile the idealistic appeal of pure democracy with the practicality of representation. Liquid democracy is of particular interest for democratic governance in civil society organizations, legislative bodies, and cooperatives.

» Read more…

The Temporal Dimension in the Analysis of Liquid Democracy Delegation Graphs

by Jan Behrens, Axel Kistner, Andreas Nitsche, Björn Swierczek on March 28, 2021

In ongoing discussions on liquid democracy, we sometimes find arguments which appear to be based on the isolated examination of delegation graphs for a single decision as the underlying model. We believe that a comprehensive analysis of the functionality and the impact of liquid democracy requires a broader view, namely adding a temporal dimension to delegation models.

» Read more…

International Parliament Engagement Network (IPEN)
Implementing online deliberative methods of engagement

by Andreas Nitsche on July 14, 2020

The Centre for Democratic Engagement and the UK House of Commons have joined forces to develop a network of academics and practitioners across the world, to critically examine public engagement with parliament: the International Parliament Engagement Network (IPEN).

» Read more…

2nd Workshop on ​Mathematics for Social Activism, University of Leeds, UK

by Andreas Nitsche on June 06, 2019

School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, June 6-7 2019
Funded by the London Mathematical Society

The 2-day workshop brings together mathematicians and data analysts from academia, industry, NGOs and government, focused on how mathematics and data can and are being used to drive social progress.

» Read more…

“The Future of Democracy” at the University of Bologna, Italy

by Axel Kistner on November 03, 2016

The Institute of Advanced Studies (ISA) of Europe’s oldest university, the University of Bologna, organized a workshop on “The Future of Democracy”. A workshop on the topic of democracy and participation is by its nature multidisciplinary, involving mathematics, computer science, social psychology, and political science. Invited speakers are experts from several European countries.

» Read more…

Keynote speech on LiquidFeedback at COST Action Industry Day in Toulouse, France

by Axel Kistner on June 21, 2016

The COST Action IC1205 Industry Day [1] is held in Toulouse, France on June 21, 2016. The aim of the Industry Day is to bridge the gap between current theoretical research in computational social choice and innovative applications in industry and policy making related to collective decision making.

Andreas Nitsche, board member of the Association for Interactive Democracy, will deliver a keynote on the topic “LiquidFeedback and a fair process of decision making”. Other keynote speakers are Craig Boutilier (Google, USA), Elliott Peranson (National Matching Services Inc., Canada), Jacques Traoré (Orange Labs, France) and Matthew Robb (NHS Blood and Transplant, UK).

» Read more…

LiquidFeedback for Swiss water supply and distribution

by Axel Kistner on May 25, 2016

The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute [1] in Rüschlikon/Zurich, Switzerland executed a creative workshop for members of the Swiss water economy in October 2015. In cooperation with partners from science, economy and culture the participants discussed extreme scenarios for the management of water supply and distribution. LiquidFeedback [2] was used to discuss, comment and evaluate several scenarios. The workshop also revealed the chances provided by LiquidFeedback for restructuring currently static procedures and complex processes.

» Read more…

Association for Interactive Democracy (LiquidFeedback) in Bogotá, Colombia

by Axel Kistner on August 06, 2015

The Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OACP) to the Colombian government has invited Andreas Nitsche, Board Member of Interaktive Demokratie e. V. - Association for Interactive Democracy to attend the conference “Conectados por la Paz” in Bogotá, Colombia on August 5, 2015. Public officials and advisors from different agencies of the national government and members of civil society organizations, examined the role that ICT could play in the promotion of citizen engagement during the implementation of the agreements that result from the current peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and the FARC.

» Read more…

LiquidFeedback at UNDP conference “Technology & Strengthening Democracy” in Islamabad, Pakistan

by Axel Kistner on October 12, 2014

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) [1] [2] has invited Andreas Nitsche, Board Member of Interaktive Demokratie e. V. - Association for Interactive Democracy [3] to attend the conference “Technology & Strengthening Democracy” [4] to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan from October 14 - 16 2014. The conference will discuss the role of technology in strengthening democracy.

Nitsche will present LiquidFeedback [5] with a focus on political party development and on how technology can be applied to provide a fully self organized proposition development and decision-making process. He will elaborate on challenges and solutions for a fair democratic process: collective moderation, minority protection, dealing with noisy minorities, preferential voting and verifiability.

» Read more…

Workshop “Political Parties and the Citizens” in Yangon, Myanmar

by Axel Kistner on November 10, 2013

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Singapur, organized a workshop “Political Parties and the Citizens” to be held in Yangon, Myanmar from 14 – 16 November 2013. [1] The workshop is part of the Democratisation And Justice Series [2] of the Political and Economic Department of ASEF. [3] The workshop focuses on how political parties interact with citizens and citizen movements in countries across Asia and Europe.

» Read more…