The participation of citizens in the political process is the basis of a functioning democracy. A legitimate and successful construction of civic society cannot function without it.

The discussion about the state of political participation in Germany is becoming increasingly controversial. The decline in membership of established political parties, weak election turnouts and arising civic large-scale protests have all been referred to as symptoms of a crisis of democracy. At the same time, new forms of political participation emerge and demonstrate that the way citizens participate can change. New, single-issue parties grow, the involvement of citizens in local processes is becoming increasingly institutionalized and the internet offers a manifold variety of new possibilities for the inclusion of citizens in political decisions.

The actual state of political participation is commonly only speculated about in the these discussions and developments. Current research findings regarding the different dimensions of political participation are missing or are not taken into account. d|part aspires to introduce scientific foundations and empirical findings into the debate while enhancing the informed dialogue between researchers, politically involved persons and citizens.