The Digital Democracy Lab supports computational social science research on the implications of digital technology for democracy. It was established in September 2018 at the University of Zurich by Fabrizio Gilardi, Anita Gohdes, and Lucas Leemann, with the generous support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
The Digital Democracy Lab has two components: the Computational Social Science Hub and the d-Dem platform. The Computational Social Science Hub is an infrastructure to collect, store, process, and analyze text and social media data, and survey response data via an online panel. It supports data collection and analysis for scientific research. The d-Dem platform tracks political debates and opinions online and offline, and presents analyses in a format accessible to the general public.
Due to the nature of the funding, in the short term (2018-2019) the Digital Democracy Lab will be focused primarily on Switzerland. The medium-term goal is to establish the Digital Democracy Lab as a leading research center for the study of the interaction between digital technology and politics.