HIGHEST SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS:
INTER- AND TRANSDISCIPLINARY
The challenges of the digital transformation require innovative and interdisciplinary research approaches.
The ENS deals with the interrelations between European society (including law, business and politics) and digital technological development in research and teaching. Central analytical terms at ENS are "power" and "design". Both terms describe semantic fields that are filled with different content depending on the discipline, but act as “boundary objects” for inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration.
The concept of power refers to issues of human and technical agency, political dominance and platform hegemony, but also empowerment and contestation. It describes structures and contexts of social action, of power shifts and of new ways of empowerment triggered or mediated by digital technology. The concept of design, in contrast, addresses the shaping of digital technologies, of their surrounding institutional and normative order, and the transformation of related structures and contexts.
Both concepts address pertinent conditions and challenges of the digital transformation and help researchers at ENS to build on common analytical ground. All five professorships at ENS relate the analysis of changes in power and design to the question of the interrelation between technological change and European integration.
Higher Education hacks Social Innovation (HaSI)
Funding: BMBF (50.000 EUR) // Start Date: 15.08.2023 // Duration: 10 months
HaSI (Higher Education hacks Social Innovation) explores hackathons as a means for sensibilizing universities, their staff and students for social innovation and perspectives of social entrepreneurship. In this pilot, we experiment with the possibilities and challenges of research-guided teaching to introduce students to hackathons as a method for innovation and creativity, and inspire social innovation projects within and around the campus. To that end, an introductory class on science and philosophy of creativity, innovation, social innovation, and hackathon culture is being taught. Students of that class are going to organize their own hackathon event with the help and supervision of their teacher. The results and impact of the project is being assessed by a survey of the hackathon outcomes themselves and students’ social innovation aptitude. HaSI is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
In this project, ENS researchers collaborate with the University of Linköping and Vienna University to examine algorithmic governance in the realm of migration and border management. In particular, the research project empirically studies how AI technologies are designed and implemented in migration and asylum procedures.
Zahlen zur Wahl
"Zahlen zur Wahl" is a collaborative research project to observe, research and analyze social media activities of political parties and candidates in the German federal and state election campaign and make the data accessible.
Zahlen zur Wahl
Analyzing and mapping current trends: Which hashtags are trending in the election campaigns of the political parties and why? Who is pushing which topic? Are there signs of coordinated inauthentic campaigns?
A team of researchers and students observes and analyzes the social media activities of political parties and candidates in the German federal and state election campaigns. Collecting data, evaluating it and describing current developments on an ongoing basis, the project aims to contribute to making the online election campaign more transparent.
The project's target groups are journalists (especially in local media without resources for their own analyses), teachers, and interested citizens. All graphics and data published on the project website may be used, posted and reproduced.
"Zahlen zur Wahl" is a joint project of the ENS Chair for Digital Democracy, the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, the NRW School of Governance and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI).
In the SKILL project, researchers from the ENS, the Viadrina Center for Teaching and Learning (ZLL) and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar are building and applying artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to recognize, analyze and visualize the structure of argumentation in scholarly articles and political arenas.
Which videos does the YouTube algorithm recommend to which users for the federal election? This will be investigated with the help of the new data donation platform "DataSkop", which has been launched on 15 July 2021.
Funding: BMBF, VDI/VDE (1,8 Mio €) // Start Date: 01.08.2020 // Duration: 36 months // Partners: 5
The BMBF, VDI/VDE funded project "DataSkop - Was passiert mit meinen Daten?" is developing a data donation platform to enable users sharing their personal data to support research and digital education. Our role in that project is to provide protypical use-, i.e. research cases. The common goal of the project, however, is to tackle the opacity of algorithmic decision making systems on big or otherwise pivotal online platforms and services. Using organic, real user data, we are going to map, explore and investigate the different realities that branch out from discriminators implementend in recommenders and the like. The project is part of the BMBF's Digital Autonomy Hub.
Algorithm Watch // European New School of Digital Studies // Uni Paderborn // FH Potsdam // Mediale Pfade
“Słubfurter Gärten” was a collaborative urban gardening project of the ENS, the Foundation for the Collegium Polonicum and the association Słubfurt e.V., together with residents and students from both sides of the Oder river.
Urban Gardening Project "Słubfurter Gärten"
“Słubfurter Gärten” is a collaborative project of the ENS, the Foundation for the Collegium Polonicum and the association Słubfurt e.V., together with residents and students from both sides of the Oder river. In the frame of the project, two new urban gardens have been created on the Brücken Plac Mostowy in Frankfurt (Oder) and the roof terrace of the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice.
Since November 2020, the team organized theoretical working meetings as well as interactive workshops generating knowledge about the planning, construction, planting and maintenance of gardens involving volunteers and citizens of both Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice.
The project was funded by the Small Projects Fund in the PRO EUROPA VIADRINA Euroregion from resources of the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg V A Brandenburg-Poland 2014 - 2020 cooperation program.
A livable and lovable city: The ENS, in cooperation with the Frankfurter Dienstleistungsholding (FDH) and the city administration, is supporting the city of Frankfurt (Oder) in developing a digitalization strategy.
Towards a Smart City – Joint Digitalization Strategy by the European New School of Digital Studies and the City Administration of Frankfurt
The European New School of Digital Studies (ENS) of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), in cooperation with the Frankfurter Dienstleistungsholding (FDH) and the city administration, is supporting the city of Frankfurt in the development of a digitalization strategy.
"Together, we will use digital technologies to make Frankfurt (Oder) an even more livable and lovable city," says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neyer, Director of the European New School of Digital Studies about the Smart City concept. "We want to leverage smart technologies to turn Frankfurt into a dynamic innovation hub in the region.”
"By the end of 2021, we want to have a joint strategy for Frankfurt (Oder) in place, designed to increase the quality of life in our city, through ecologically sustainable as well as socially and economically balanced solutions and technologies,” explains Mayor Claus Junghanns. Citizens should will be given the chance to participate in shaping their city. At the same time, we aim to become more competitive for companies and boost efficiency in our administration."
In the frame of a research seminar at Viadrina, public surveys and interviews with municipal stakeholders and businesses will be conducted in a first step. Moreover, there will be a dialog event with actors from the city, local politics and science. The project receives 40,000 euros of financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation, one of the largest German science funding institutions.
How does Artificial Intelligence change the human-technology relationship and what are the associated challenges of a holistic development and social embedding of these technologies?
Funding: BMBF// Duration: 01 April 2021 - 31 December 2022
AI represents a key technology of economic and social change in the 21st century. More and more technological developments and applications are built on machine learning and the resulting possibilities for data collection, use and exploitation. However, the consequences for society and the individuals living in it are still hardly analyzed systematically from social science perspectives. The KIMeGe project bundles and combines such perspectives to holistically explore the societal implications of AI.
Transparency made useful
Digital data analysis to measure de-europeanization: Situated in the field of post-accession europeanization research, this project discusses how the EU produces domestic change in its member- and accession states.
Transparency Made Useful: Employing Digital Data Analysis to Measure and Prevent de-Europeanization (Luana Martin-Russu)
The project is situated in the field of post-accession Europeanization research that discusses the manner and extent to which the European Union produces domestic change in its member- and accession-states. It starts from the empirical observation that several European member states allow their legislation to slide away from either European or democratic standards after having gained EU membership. It postulates that it depends primarily on lawmakers whether or not a state pursues a European and a democratic agenda. Therefore, it is at the level of legislative decision-making that this project decides to observe when and where there is a decrease in the level of compliance and when and where the rule of law is not de facto realized. It takes up the challenge to develop a longitudinal study across policy fields and over longer periods of time in order to reveal subtle patterns of legislative instability and abusive law-making practices. It starts from the research question: How can de-Europeanization be effectively measured? It sets off to answer this question by employing a new method of analysis based on computer driven data acquisition (Python-based algorithms) and natural language processing (NLP).
The EU-funded ASSISTANT project aims to develop breakthrough solutions for the manufacturing industry, using artificial intelligence to optimize production systems.
Funding: EU Horizon 2020 (6 Mio. €) // Start Date: 01.11.2020 // Duration: 36 months // Partners: 12
The EU-funded ASSISTANT project aims to develop breakthrough solutions for the manufacturing industry, using artificial intelligence to optimize production systems. One of the keystones of ASSISTANT is the creation of intelligent digital twins. By combining machine learning, optimization, simulation, and domain models, ASSISTANT develops tools and solutions providing all required information to help production managers design production lines, plan production, and improve machine settings for effective and sustainable decisions that guarantee product quality and safety.
The team at the chair for Sociology of Technology at the European New School of Digital Studies is involved in shaping the human-centric architecture of the project, in order to make sure that the technologies are developed in a responsible way. Through a focus on the process of developing the ASSISTANT tools, we aim at bringing the topics of abstract guidelines (such as trustworthy AI) into concrete practices and guide the development process through interventions, workshops and the discussion of issues together with the involved project partners.
With a multidisciplinary consortium combining key skills in AI, manufacturing, edge computing and robotics, ASSISTANT aims to create intelligent digital twins through the joint use of machine learning (ML), optimization, simulation and domain models. The resulting tools permit to design and operate complex collaborative and reconfigurable production systems based on data collected from various sources such as IoT devices. ASSISTANT targets a significant increase in flexibility and reactivity, products/processes quality, and in robustness of manufacturing systems, by integrating human and machine intelligence in a sustainable learning relationship.The ASSISTANT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101000165.
Institut Mines-Telecom // University College Cork // University of Patras // Flanders Make vzw // Biti Innovations AB // SIEMENS AG // INTRASOFT International // ATLAS Copco // SIEMENS Energy // Groupe PSA // European New School of Digital Studies
HIRING aims to prepare the current and next generation of human resources managers for the integration of artificial intelligence tools in their position.
EU Erasmus+ // Start Date: 01.09.2020 // Duration: 36 months // Partners: 6
The project aims to prepare the current and next generation of human resources manager to the integration of artificial intelligence tools in their position. It’s objectives are: training the HR managers and students to the digital transformation to come in their work environment, valuing fair and responsible soft skills for implementing AI technologies at the work place and promoting a more open-minded HR generation opened to atypical career pathways.
Institut de Preparation à l’Administration et à la Gestion, IPAC Business School // Seinäjoen koulutuskuntayhtymä, Finland // haikara, France // ZAPIENS TECHNOLOGIES S.L. Spain // European New School of Digital Studies
ENS Fellowship Program
Our ENS fellowship program "Datafication in European Societies" is designed for postdoctoral researchers active in one of our core disciplines (economics, law, social and political sciences) and ready to build and expand international research collaborations.
Join our young and dynamic group of researchers and apply for:
- An ENS Postdoc Fellowship (up to four years after your PhD)
- An ENS Visiting Professor Fellowship (four or more years after your PhD)
The duration of the stay usually varies between two and six months. Successful applicants will be provided with a full grant corresponding to the applicants' level of professional experience, as well as working space in fully equipped offices, logistical support and access to the interdisciplinary research landscape of ENS.
The ENS Fellowship Program "Datafication in European Societies" is a project of the European University Viadrina, funded by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation.
Prof. Sarah Hammer
22 August - 5 September 2023
Professor Sarah Hammer is Executive Director at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, leading financial technology initiatives and Wharton Cypher Accelerator, which supports leading global businesses that are leveraging financial technology. Hammer is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Affiliated Scholar at the Penn Program on Regulation.
Sarah Hammer is a board member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the United Nations. Previously, she was Managing Director of the Center for Innovation in Finance and Senior Director of the Alternative Investments Program at Wharton. Hammer earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, and a Master of Studies from Oxford University.
During her visit to ENS, Hammer studied applications and legal issues related to artificial intelligence in financial services, including banking and asset management.
Prof. Sean Theriault
17 - 21 July 2023
Professor Theriault is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently researching the effect of interpersonal relationships within the U.S. Congress.
Professor Theriault has published five books: Congress: The First Branch (with Mickey Edwards; Oxford University Press, 2020), The Great Broadening (with Bryan Jones and Michelle Whyman; University of Chicago Press, 2019), The Gingrich Senators (Oxford University Press, 2013), Party Polarization in Congress (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and The Power of the People (Ohio State University Press, 2005). He has also published numerous articles in a variety of journals on subjects ranging from presidential rhetoric to congressional careers and the Louisiana Purchase to the Pendleton Act of 1883.
While in residence at ENS, he worked on two different projects. First, he continued his research into measuring the social relationships in the U.S. Senate as a step toward determining if they can help the institution solve problems even in an era of party polarization. Second, he worked with his former student, Mike Cowburn, a postdoctoral researcher at ENS, on a project that evaluates how primaries have contributed to party polarization in Congress. He was the guest of Professor Ulrike Klinger.
Prof. Daniel Kreiss
01 - 31 July 2023
Daniel Kreiss is the Edgar Thomas Cato Distinguished Professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a principal researcher of the UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life. Kreiss is the co-author of Power in Ideas: A Case-Based Argument for Taking Ideas Seriously in Political Communication Research (2021, Cambridge University Press), first author of Recoding the Boys’ Club: The Experiences and Future of Women in Political Technology (Oxford University Press, 2020), and author of Prototype Politics: Technology-Intensive Campaigning and the Data of Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford University Press, 2012). Kreiss co-edits the Oxford University Press book series Journalism and Political Communication Unbound and is an associate editor of Political Communication. Kreiss is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and received a Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, Daniel worked to co-organize an internationally attended symposium and workshop on theorizing the far-right in the areas of digital studies, media studies and political communication. Daniel is interested in foregrounding questions of power, social difference, democracy, and inequality in the study of political communication.
Prof. Sarah Jackson
01 - 31 July 2023
Sarah Jackson is a Presidential Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Co-Director of the Center for Media, Inequality & Change. Her work considers how media, journalism and technology are used by and represent marginalized publics, with a focus on how communication arising from Black, feminist, and activist spaces contributes to U.S. culture and politics. She is the author of Black Celebrity, Racial Politics, and the Press (2014), co-author of #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice (2020) and is currently working on Carnegie-supported research that traces the power and innovation of African-American media-makers.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, she worked to co-organize an internationally attended symposium and workshop on theorizing the far-right in the areas of digital studies, media studies and political communication. She is concerned with pushing the field forward on conceptual and ethical problems raised by relying on theories from the margins to study groups working to entrench antidemocratic relations of power. She was hosted by Professor Ulrike Klinger at the Chair for Digital Democracy.
Prof. Jens Frankenreiter
26 June - 28 July 2023
Jens Frankenreiter works and teaches at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is an Associate Professor of Law. Jens’ research utilizes empirical methods to study the intersection of business law, contract law, and comparative law. He is particularly interested in the changes that globalization and new technologies visit upon these fields. His work draws on methods from economics, statistics, and data science to improve our understanding of contracting, private and public lawmaking, and legal institutions. A particular focus of his work is on the use of large amounts of texts and other forms of big data.
He was hosted by Professor Philipp Hacker at the Chair for Law and Ethics of the Digital Society.
Prof. Dora Kaufman
23 June - 7 July 2023
Dora Kaufman is Professor of social and ethical impacts of AI at the Intelligence Technologies and Digital Design Program at Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil. She also writes as a columnist for the Época Negócios Magazine (Globo Group) and for major media such as Globo, Valor Econômico and Folha de São Paulo. Moreover, she is involved in elaborating the AI regulatory framework in Brazil, author of several books, including "Will Artificial Intelligence Overtake Human Intelligence?" (2019) and "Demystifying Artificial Intelligence" (2022). Her current research focuses on developing AI governance, AI guidelines, AI code of conduct and an AI ethics committee for organizations in Brazil.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, she works on a comparative study of European AI regulation (AI Act) and Brazilian AI regulation concerning similarities and differences in processes and content. She is hosted by Professor Philipp Hacker of the Chair for Law and Ethics of the Digital Society.
Prof. Sandra Wachter
1 June - 15 June 2023 | 1 July - 7 July 2023
Sandra Wachter is Professor of Technology and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford where she researches the legal and ethical implications of AI, Big Data, and robotics as well as internet and platform regulation. Her current research focuses on profiling, inferential analytics, explainable AI, algorithmic bias, diversity, and fairness, as well as governmental surveillance, predictive policing, human rights online, and health tech and medical law.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, she conducts ciritical studies on important technological issues around privacy, algorithmic decision-making, automated fairness and bias. She also has a strong focus on providing concrete solutions to enable better governance of emerging technologies. She is hosted by Professor Philipp Hacker of the Chair for Law and Ethics of the Digital Society.
Prof. Brent Mittelstadt
1 June - 7 July 2023
Professor Brent Mittelstadt is Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford where he co-leads the Governance of Emerging Technologies (GET) research program, working across ethics, law and emerging information technologies. His prior work has addressed the ethics of algorithms, AI, and Big Data; fairness, accountability, and transparency in machine learning; data protection and non-discrimination law; group privacy; ethical auditing of automated systems; and digital epidemiology and public health ethics.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, he will analyze the effectiveness of technical and organisational accountability tools for trustworthy AI as well as the feasibility of future professional liability regimes for developers. He is hosted by Professor Philipp Hacker of the Chair for Law and Ethics of the Digital Society.
Prof. Stefan Eich
12 - 19 June 2023
Stefan Eich is Assistant Professor of Government at Georgetown University where he researches the political theory of money and the politics of financial capitalism. He is the 2022/23 Richard B. Fisher Member at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton. He has written about the history and politics of digital money, global monetary reform, economic democracy, and climate finance. Eich is the author of The Currency of Politics: The Political Theory of Money from Aristotle to Keynes (Princeton University Press, 2022), which won the 2023 APSA Foundations of Political Theory Best First Book Prize.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, he worked on the politics of the “de-risking state” by investigating the underlying concept of risk that has emerged as a central category of contemporary governance from climate finance to the regulation of new technologies. This forms part of a larger project on John Maynard Keynes and the politics of uncertainty. He was hosted by Professor Philipp Hacker at the Chair for Law and Ethics of the Digital Society.
Prof. Dr. Alla Kozhyna
1 April - 30 June 2023
Alla Kozhyna is Doctor of Science in Public Administration and Professor of the Department of Public Management and Administration at the National Aviation University in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Her current research focus is on digitalization in public spheres and digital inclusion as a challenge for European societies and governments, including the improvement of digital literacy for public servants and the influence of digital technologies on the quality of life of vulnerable and marginalized populations.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, she works on a comparative study of European countries with the aim to strenghten German-Polish-Ukrainian scientific cooperation. She is hosted by Professor Jan-Hendrik Passoth at the Chair for Sociology of Technology.
Prof. Dr. ROBERT Geisler
19 September 2022 - 10 February 2023
Professor Robert Geisler is doctor habilitated in sociology, Associate Professor in Governance and Public Policy at the University of Opole, Poland and expert evaluator in the EU funding program Horizon 2020. In recent years, he has been involved in a number of research projects in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation, networked organizations, organizational culture, business ethnography and big data analysis.
As a Visiting Professor at ENS, he will analyze sharing economy case studies as examples of digital entrepreneurship in the EU. He is hosted by Professor Jan-Hendrik Passoth at the Chair for Sociology of Technology.
Dr. Justyna Stypinska
18 July - 17 October 2022
Justyna Stypinska has recently worked as a researcher and lecturer at the department for Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin. She has completed her PhD at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków on the topic of “Ageism in the labor market. A sociological-legal analysis.” Her research focuses on multiple forms of age discrimination and age inequalities in contemporary societies, especially in their most recent digital forms.
At ENS, she is hosted by Professor Ulrike Klinger at the Chair for Digital Democracy and is conducting research on age bias in algorithms and artificial intelligence, as well as ageism in tech industry and Silicon Valley.
Prof. Dr. Dariusz Jemielniak
09 May - 22 June 2022 | 03 October 2022 - 30 January 2023 | 06 March - 27 March 2023
Prof. Dr. Dariusz Jemielniak holds a professorship of Management in Networked and Digital Societies at Kozminski University and is a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Moreover, he is a Board of Trustees member of the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco, and a corresponding member of Polish Academy of Sciences.
During his time as a Visiting Professor at ENS, he will be working on collecting comparable datasets from German social media in the areas of medical, scientific and political disinformation, and collaborate with PhD researchers on a Thick Big Data approach.
Dr. Mennatullah Hendawy
01 March - 15 May 2022
Mennatullah Hendawy is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University in Cairo.
As an interdisciplinary urban researcher, she is working at the intersection of cities, technology and sustainability with a focus on visualization, digitalization and mediatization. At ENS, she is hosted by Prof. Ulrike Klinger at the Chair for Digital Democracy.
Dr. Nina Amelung
01 March - 30 April 2022
Nina Amelung has completed her PhD in Sociology at TU Berlin in 2018 and is currently affiliated with the Social Science Department of the University of Lisbon, Portugal. At ENS, she was working on her current project “Social and political implications of transnational biometric databases in migration and crime control (AFFECT)” and extend research collaborations linked to the STS MIGTEC network co-initiated with ENS researcher Dr. Silvan Pollozek.
Check out the interview about her stay at ENS on the Viadrina homepage.