Workshop: „Democracy in the digital constellation. Interdisciplinary perspectives“

Digitalisation enables political change. It affects how political decisions are made and how policies are implemented; it changes what issues are deemed political, how these issues are communicated, and how we generally organise and live democratic politics. The research group Democracy and Digitalisa-tion at the Weizenbaum Institute of the Networked Society has over the last five years explored the interplay of digitalisation and democratic self-governance. To this end, the concept of the digital constellation functioned as a cornerstone in our theoretical approach. It addresses the conditions under which politics take place in a society that is characterised by the use of digital technologies, distinguishing the levels of properties, affordances, and social configurations. This concept has served us as an epistemological guide to better understand how digital technologies acquire their social and political meaning. Thus, it provided a conceptual tool to analyse the techno-social dy-namics in their diversity as infrastructures, media, protocols, and artefacts.
In pursuing our research and developing the concept, we have been greatly influenced by many scholars working on the intersection of technology, society, law and politics. Now that the work of the group is drawing to an end, we wanted to seize the opportunity and reflect on the conceptual work by wel-coming many of those scholars who inspired much of the research done in the group for a final workshop „Democracy in the digital constellation. Interdisciplinary perspectives“. We invited them to discuss the concept of the digital constellation, its use as a tool for digitalization research, and its substantial implications for how we understand politics, law and societal developments in the digital constellation. The workshop took place on the 5th and 6th of September. You can have a look at our final program here. We once again want to thank all speakers Vincent August, Robert Seyfert, Hannah Ruschemeier, Giovanni De Gregorio, Annie Waldherr, Jan-Felix Schrape, Paula Diehl und Rahel Süß and all our guests for their input and the lively and inspiring discussion.