Pascal D König

Pascal D König

Doctor of Philosophy

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102
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (102)
Article
Research dealing with citizens’ preferences for different conceptions of democracy has grown and diversified greatly. This has resulted in a highly fragmented field in which empirical evidence cannot easily be integrated into a consistent larger picture. This systematic review takes stock of this research to uncover the roots of existing inconsiste...
Article
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A major challenge with the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications is to manage the long-term societal impacts of this technology. Two central concerns that have emerged in this respect are that the optimized goals behind the data processing of AI applications usually remain opaque and the energy footprint of their data processi...
Article
The concept of a smart city is tightly linked to the promise of using data as a resource to create value for citizens. The present paper systematically examines how such data-based value creation generates challenges for decision-makers in the smart city and how they can deal with these challenges. It formulates a coherent data governance framework...
Article
The increasing adoption of AI profoundly changes the informational foundations of societies. What does this mean for the functioning of liberal democracy, specifically in terms of responsiveness and accountability? The present paper addresses this question by discussing how capabilities of AI affect the informational requirements of the democratic...
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Advances in information and communication technologies enable more decentralized and individualized mechanisms for coordination and for managing societal complexity. This has important consequences for the role of conditionality and the idea of individual responsibility in two seemingly unrelated policy areas. First, the changing information infras...
Article
In the 2000s and 2010s, US states have seen an important wave of change in criminal justice policies toward a “smart on crime”‐approach. In this context, several states have rolled out algorithmic risk assessment tools for statewide use in pretrial decisions, whereas some others haven't and still others are moving back from using such tools again....
Article
As anti-establishment parties, right-wing populists (RWPs) have been successful in attracting the politically discontent. This article shows how this appeal of RWPs asymmetrically affects citizens on the economical left and right. Building on previous work, the analysis examines how anti-establishment status conditions not only the effect of politi...
Chapter
AI is a complex, multifaceted concept and is therefore hard to define because AI can refer to technological artifacts, certain methods or a scientific field that is split into many subfields and that is continuously changing and evolving. AI systems can therefore be seen as digital artifacts that require hardware and software components and that co...
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This paper leverages the resource regime concept to systematically analyze the shape of data governance established by European Union (EU) digital policy. It highlights what gives shape and coherence to this data governance across different policies and how this governance structures relations between actors in the data economy. The analysis shows...
Article
A populist attitude combining people-centrism and anti-elite sentiment has been shown to influence populist party support. But how much is support for these parties associated specifically with a populist conception of democratic politics? This paper probes the importance of this facet of demand-side populism with original representative survey dat...
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This commentary discusses an important disconnect between different literatures dealing with the power of algorithms – a disconnect that has important implications for the narratives about the role of algorithms in today’s societies that the humanities and social science construct. Theoretical work has regularly depicted algorithmic systems in the...
Article
Zusammenfassung Neben einem populistischen Demokratieverständnis bildet auch ein majoritärer Relativismus Teil der deutschen politischen Kultur. Dieser Aufsatz argumentiert und liefert Evidenz dafür, dass es sich um zwei unterschiedliche, aber zugleich teils miteinander verwandte Demokratieauffassungen handelt und dass es wichtig ist, beide auseina...
Article
This paper sheds light on the prevalence and the correlates of citizen support for liberal democracy and four of its deformations: a populist, a technocratic, a post-democratic, and a majoritarian-relativist conception of democracy. Using original survey data from a representative German online panel, the findings provide systematic evidence on the...
Preprint
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Following the idea that citizens' regulatory preferences matter for the acceptance and success of policy measures, this paper investigates citizens' support for the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The focus lies on the transparency and the ecological sustainability of AI as two key challenges tied to possible long-term impacts on societ...
Preprint
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With data becoming an important economic asset in the 21st century, data-based value creation forms a major growth factor in industrialized countries fueling an economic transition. As with natural resources, an artificial resource like data, its availability, refinement and use, must be enabled not only through adequate technical infrastructure, b...
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Algorithmic systems that provide services to people by supporting or replacing human decision-making promise greater convenience in various areas. The opacity of these applications, however, means that it is not clear how much they truly serve their users. A promising way to address the issue of possible undesired biases consists in giving users co...
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Die selbsternannte "Zukunftskoalition" aus SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen und der FDP hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, Deutschland in den kommenden vier Jahren mutig zu modernisieren. Die aktive Gestaltung der digitalen Transformation in Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft dürfte hierbei-neben Corona-Pandemie und Klimakrise-eine der zentralen Herausforderunge...
Chapter
Das Kapitel beleuchtet die digitalpolitische Agenda der grün-schwarzen Regierung im Zeitraum 2016–2021. Die Analyse der Schwerpunktsetzungen der Regierungsparteien in den Wahlprogrammen sowie im Koalitionsvertrag zeigt, dass die Koalitionäre selektiv eigene digitalpolitische Schwerpunkte im Regierungsprogramm platzieren konnten, die Agenda der Regi...
Preprint
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Algorithms are increasingly used in the public sector in ways that affect people's daily lives. While scholarly debate has generally emphasized the importance of accountable algorithms, it is in public sector organizations where accountability gains special importance. The present paper sheds light on how much value citizens place on relevant featu...
Article
What leads citizens to change their candidate preferences during televised debates? The present paper addresses this question with real-time response and panel survey data from respondents recruited in the run-up to the 2017 German national election. Probing the importance of party identity and performance perceptions formed during the debate, the...
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This is the English translation of the German study: Kurzstudie: Digitalpolitik der Parteien zur Bundestagswahl 2021 published as a blogpost with Defacto in September 2021. As a megatrend, digitization permeates many areas of society. In view of the opportunities and challenges presented by the far-reaching processes of change-from digital classr...
Data
This is the English translation of the brief study on digital policies by German parties in the Bundestag elections 2021.
Article
Algorithmic decision-making (ADM) systems are increasingly adopted by the state to support various administrative functions and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services, such as in unemployment services or policing. While these systems create challenges of opaqueness, unfairness, and value trade-offs, the present paper argues tha...
Article
It is well-established that party identity biases the processing of political information and the evaluation of political actors. This is presumed to avoid cognitive dissonance and achieve positive affect. What happens, however, when individuals diverge from this pattern and do make identity-inconsistent evaluations of political actors – how does t...
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Angesichts der zu erwartenden disruptiven Veränderungen durch KI-basierte Technologien für Wirtschaft, Staat und Gesellschaft ist der Handlungsdruck für politische Entscheidungsträger enorm. So wird sich in der nächsten Legislaturperiode zeigen, ob die Politik dem Anspruch der Enquete- Kommission gerecht werden wird und den durch neue Technologien...
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Mit der sich fortsetzenden Digitalisierung werden zahlreiche gesellschaftliche Bereiche transformiert. Die Politik kommt dadurch längst nicht mehr daran vorbei, sich dem Themenbereich anzunehmen. So wählen bei der anstehenden Bundestagswahl am 26. September 2021 in Deutschland die Bürger:innen eine neue Regierung, zu deren wesentlichen Tätigkeitsfe...
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The 2017 French presidential election is regarded as a watershed in French politics, with Emmanuel Macron winning the election as the leader of a newly founded political movement. This paper probes the idea that the French political ideological space has lost its bipolar structure and that the election forms a continuation of a decreasing political...
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Existentialist philosophy offers an understanding of how trying to eliminate ambiguities that inevitably mark the human condition only seemingly leads to freedom. This existentialist outlook can also serve to shed light on how democratic politics may similarly show tendencies which aim at overcoming immanent tensions. Such tendencies in democratic...
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A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41253-021-00149-7
Preprint
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a general-purpose technology is expected to support people with a large range of tasks. A major challenge is therefore to manage the long-term societal impacts of this technology. Two central concerns that have emerged in this respect are the transparency and environmental sustainability of AI. The present paper stud...
Preprint
Full-text available
With data becoming a key economic asset in the 21st century, countries are experiencing a gradual shift in the sources of economic growth. This creates incentives to establish suitable conditions for governing data as a resource and growth factor. The present paper argues that incentives to ease the extraction, processing, and use of data are tied...
Article
Debates on the future trajectory of Germany’s digital transformation have recently entered mainstream party politics. Rather than forming a coherent trend, however, some parties have begun to signal a much stronger commitment to digital policies than others. Drawing on the issue competition literature, we address two questions: First, which parties...
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Opposition parties under minority governments find themselves in a fundamental dilemma. They are competing with other parties, including the government, for electoral support while also having a common responsibility to make stable government work. This dilemma is especially pronounced for opposition parties signing support agreements with the gove...
Article
The present paper sheds light on the conditions for successfully implementing pretrial risk assessment tools by looking at barriers to their implementation and, specifically, political factors that can derail this process. Drawing on theoretical assumptions about the role of agenda-setting and public discourse in policy change, we examine three US...
Article
Algorithmic decision-making (ADM) promises to strengthen evidence-based decisions, particularly to better manage risks in various domains. Its use also extends to the criminal justice system where algorithmic risk assessments potentially provide very valuable evidence that can inform highly sensitive decisions. Yet, such algorithmic tools also intr...
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The promise of algorithmic decision-making (ADM) lies in its capacity to support or replace human decision-making based on a superior ability to solve specific cognitive tasks. Applications have found their way into various domains of decision-making—and even find appeal in the realm of politics. Against the backdrop of widespread dissatisfaction w...
Article
Purpose: Policy makers have called for more entrepreneurship throughout societies as a response to the digital transformation. This paper argues that the rapidly changing conditions of the digital age indeed mark a change in the bases of entrepreneurship. Specifically, as adaptivity becomes key, a learning capacity and general ability to adapt bec...
Article
Computational decision support tools that utilise machine learning (‘ML’) are increasingly being used to inform decisions about the treatment of individuals within criminal justice systems, including decisions about the pre-trial process, sentencing and parole. Supporters of these tools variously claim that they offer the potential to improve the c...
Chapter
Das Kapitel gibt einen Überblick über wichtige generelle Schritte und Entscheidungen bei der Durchführung von Clusteranalysen und stellt drei zentrale Varianten vor: (1) die hierarchisch-agglomerative Clusteranalyse, (2) das K-Means-Verfahren und (3) die modellbasierte Gruppenbildung auf Basis angenommener Wahrscheinlichkeitsverteilungen. Im Zuge d...
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Algorithmic decision‐making (ADM) systems have come to support, pre‐empt or substitute for human decisions in manifold areas, with potentially significant impacts on individuals' lives. Achieving transparency and accountability has been formulated as a general goal regarding the use of these systems. However, concrete applications differ widely in...
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A growing literature is taking an institutionalist and governance perspective on how algorithms shape society based on unprecedented capacities for managing social complexity. Algorithmic governance altogether emerges as a novel and distinctive kind of societal steering. It appears to transcend established categories and modes of governance—and thu...
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We have recently witnessed a considerable interest in the estimation of party preferences from vote advice applications (VAAs). Such attempts have been met with some skepticism. One of the principal concerns is the effect of the item selection on the resulting spaces in scaling analyses. The items are said to introduce an implicit weighting, such t...
Article
Political microtargeting has been depicted as a severe danger for democratic representation. It is said to fragment the electorate, help manipulate voters, and make politics overall less responsive and inclusive. However, the present paper aims to show why these are not general consequences to be expected from political microtargeting. It argues th...
Article
The project of liberal democracy is inherently marked by tensions between its liberal and democratic pillar. This means that liberal democracy needs to constantly strive for a balance between conflicting principles. If it does not contain these centrifugal forces, liberal democracies risk becoming subverted from within due to one principle clearly...
Article
Why don’t citizens give governments credit when they deliver on electoral pledges? This article develops an original analytical framework that addresses this important but under-researched question. It focuses on the concept of ‘credit claiming’, which is the opposite of ‘blame shifting’, and draws together existing research to identify a number of...
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Zusammenfassung Die Bunderepublik Deutschland erlebte im Jahr 2015, vor allem ab dem letzten Quartal, eine immense Zuwanderung von Flüchtlingen, die bis ins darauffolgende Jahr anhielt. In der Folge kam es zu einem merklichen Anstieg der Anzahl von Anschlägen auf Flüchtlinge, die erst im Jahr 2017 allmählich zurückging. Der vorliegende Aufsatz repl...
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This article addresses the question of appearance-based effects by looking at the U.S. House of Representatives election 2016. We broaden the focus beyond existing studies by offering a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the three traits attractiveness, competence, and likability while simultaneously taking into account confounding third vari...
Article
Das chinesische Sozial-Kredit-System ist in westlichen Demokratien als Antithese zur Idee der freiheitlichen Gesellschaft aufgenommen worden. Es erscheint als technologiegestützte Verwirklichung totalitärer Überwachung und Steuerung. Aus europäischer Sicht mag es geografisch wie ideell ein abseitiges Gegenmodell darstellen, doch steckt darin zuglei...
Article
Despite the sweeping societal and economic transformation brought about by digitization, it has remained a relatively marginal topic in elections, with parties having few incentives to signal commitment to digitization. Why then would parties start to do so? We address this question by examining party manifestos from German subnational elections in...
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Industrialized countries face comparable societal and economic changes induced by advances in digital technologies. Are these similar developments filtered through the country-specific economic and socio-cultural context, thus leading to different policy stances of party-political actors? This question is probed looking at Germany and Ireland as tw...
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Can the behavior of political actors in business-as-usual conditions be analyzed with the same theoretical framework as decision-making in situations characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity and urgency? After comparing major existing approaches and evaluating their explanatory logic under crisis circumstances, the present article develo...
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This paper uses data from the Austrian Voting Advice Application (VAA) wahlkabine.at to locate parties in policy spaces for the 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2017 national elections. It formulates an approach that combines positional information from the VAA data with information about issue saliences that stems from the VAA itself as well as from manifesto...
Article
Policy research and particularly social policy analysis have increasingly drawn upon the concept of framing. A number of contributions have demonstrated its usefulness for building explanations of policy change and its consequences. However, the adoption of the concept has also been accompanied by a considerable conceptual ambiguity. It is not only...
Article
While digital change already creates pressures for policy change, it remains a marginal issue at elections. It is thus risky for parties to signal commitment to this emerging topic while other issues still dominate. Nevertheless, in recent elections several parties have given more space in their manifestos to digitization. To answer the question wh...
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Algorithmic governance entails new capacities for steering and coordination that are particularly apt for the management of social complexity. Can this kind of governance help to realize the democratic promise of generating unity out of diversity? Contrasting it with the procedural model of democracy serves to demonstrate that algorithmic governanc...
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This article probes the role of two potential dynamic influences on the occurrence of violence against refugees in Germany throughout the years 2015 and 2016. First, it tests whether three kinds of threatening events spark anti-refugee violence: (i) violence or crime committed by refugees, (ii) police raids against Islamic fundamentalists, (iii) te...
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Building on the spatial model of party competition, we investigate the structure of political conflict in German subnational politics. Little research has examined the conflict dimensionality at the Länder level. Moreover, the few studies which have done so predominantly rely on a deductive approach that pre-structures the conflict space using pres...
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Der Aufsatz geht der Frage nach, wie sich die deutschen Parteien im Hinblick auf Digitalisierungsthemen und ihren gesellschaftlichen Implikationen positionieren. Er analysiert hierfür mittels Skalierungsanalyse den programmatischen Raum für die Bundestagswahlen der Jahre 2009, 2013 und 2017. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Parteien im Jahr 2017 Dig...
Article
Data contained in Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) is not only a prerequisite for the vote recommendations they provide but can also be used for estimating party positions in low‐dimensional spaces. Given that VAAs can be designed differently in terms of their number of items and their measurement level, how much can one trust the party positions...
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Research on unpopular policies such as welfare-state cutbacks has so far shied away from an in-depth study of the complex interrelations between the occurrence and timing of austerity measures and the evolution of popular support. This study aims to take a first step into this field by means of a systematic comparison between three governments that...
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Der Aufsatz wirft anlässlich jüngerer politischer Entwicklungen die Frage auf, wie stark die liberale Demokratie in Deutschland gesellschaftlich verwurzelt ist. Er wählt hierzu einen besonderen Ansatz, der sich spezifisch den Ansprüchen und dem Verständnis der Bürgerinnen und Bürger bezogen auf die Demokratie annimmt. Hierzu werden zunächst mittels...
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel wird ein Einblick in den sich aktuell vor allem in den Computerwissenschaften äußerst dynamisch entwickelnden Bereich der clusteranalytischen Forschung gegeben. Dabei werden zunächst die klassischerweise verwendeten Ansätze, wie hierarchische oder k-means Clusteranalysen behandelt. Daneben wird aber vor allem auf neuere, in den So...
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Das Kapitel stellt die Multidimensionale Skalierung (MDS) als eine Methode zur Analyse und Visualisierung von Ähnlichkeiten und Unähnlichkeiten zwischen Objekten vor. Über eine einführende Darstellung der MDS hinausgehend verweist das Kapitel auf eine Reihe von Beispielen, um die Anschlussfähigkeit der Methode an ein breites Spektrum sozialwissensc...
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This study sheds light on how new Eurosceptic parties are received and interpreted by the media. It does so by analysing the quality press coverage of three specific cases: the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) (Italy), the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) (Germany) and the Team Stronach (TS) (Austria). These cases represent non-extremist Eurosceptic...
Article
GMO liberalization can be seen as politically risky for policy actors; it confronts them with policy-specific strategic challenges and incentives regarding their policy communication. This perspective has received much more attention in association with two other kinds of policies, welfare state retrenchment and foreign policy. The aim of this pape...
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This article transfers the concept of competitive advantage from management theory to party competition. Competitive advantage as a party's ability to sustainably outrival any competitor in a given voter segment involves not only a superior appeal in that segment but also a resource or efficiency dimension. The effort involved in achieving distinct...
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The large influx of refugees into Germany in late 2015 gave rise to a period of intensified party competition over a single issue: refugees. This paper examines German parties’ reactions to this issue suddenly becoming highly important and voter preferences shifting to a more restrictive stance. It does so by analysing the parties’ positions on the...
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In 2015, Germany experienced a record high influx of refugees – and received international praise for its ‘welcome culture’. At the same time, however, attacks on refugees rose to an alarming level. This article describes the distribution of these attacks and probes their causes, using detailed socioeconomic and political data while modelling a hie...
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This article develops a coherent framework for analyzing policy communication; Conceptualizes how policy communication can be understood as a function of contextual factors; Empirically maps the policy communication of four political leaders. Points to the importance of political competition and welfare culture for systematic variation in policy co...
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Welfare reforms have been treated intensely in the area of policy research. The communication of these reforms have only more recently received increased attention. Research on this subject is overall still rather heterogeneous, comprising a variety of approaches and emphases. This contribution aims at systematizing this literature focusing on how...
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This article deals with welfare culture as an ideational constraint for governments' use of normative ideas and justifications in their policy communication. The analysis is based on a focused comparison of reforms related to the labor market that were passed by the governments under David Cameron (the United Kingdom), Mariano Rajoy (Spain), and En...
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Governments’ policy organization and communication, treated as an independent variable, has been shown to increase the public endorsement of unpopular reforms and to help to avoid blame. This study aims to shed further light on such strategic action from a largely neglected angle. It considers reform communication as a dependent variable and makes...
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Zusammenfassung Inwieweit trifft demokratische Deliberation auf forderliche und hinderliche grundlegende Dispositionen, Eigenschaften und Fahigkeiten bei ihren TeilnehmerInnen? Diese Frage gewinnt insbesondere mit der zunehmenden empirischen und praktischen Relevanz der Forschung zu Deliberation an Gewicht. So ist fur ihre praktische Umsetzung, abe...
Article
Policy makers use political strategies when implementing public policies. This is the result of an increasing number of empirical studies-especially from research on unpopular welfare state reforms. However, an overarching theoretical framework systematizing the existing work is still missing from the literature. The present article tackles this sh...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The projects explores how parties and governments try to shape the digital transformation and its key technologies like artificial intelligence.