Digital Political Participation of Western and Eastern Parts of Germany Residents (based on Online Petitions)

  • Nadezhda K. Radina National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  • Daria S. Belyashova National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia


The article shows the results of a study aimed at finding the determinants, which describe the petitioning activity of the residents of the western and eastern parts of Germany. The research material consists of 1,036 petitions from the German-language segment of during the period of 2012–2018 (322 petitions from eastern part of Germany, 714 petitions from western part of Germany). A thematic classifier based on the analysis of electronic petitions was created. It subdivided all the petitions into 18 thematic groups, for example, human rights, animal protection, culture, politics, migration issues, proposals for reforming certain areas of life, transport system, Internet, protection and support for people with disabilities and rare diseases, financial questions, environmental protection, housing issues, weapons/spirits/tobacco/drugs, healthcare, elderly people, education, sports, sustainable development. Statistically significant differences between western and eastern territories were found only in the animal protection thematic group. It is stated that the bipolar construct East/West rooted in the historical logic of the legacy of socialism and capitalism on the German territories could not explain the logic of the petitioning activity of the contemporary Germans. Moreover, the historical heritage/separation factor is found in the socio-economic problems of the regions, but it is not critical while determining the values and civic activism of German people.

Author Biographies

Nadezhda K. Radina, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Nadezhda K. Radina – PhD (in psychology), Doctor of Political Science, professor; Professor of the Department of Social Sciences of the National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Nizhny Novgorod. Research interests: media, biopolitics, gender studies, civil society, digital political participation. She is the author of over 200 publications, including the monograph: Digital Political Participation: The Effectiveness of Electronic Petitions of the Internet Platforms and ROI (Russian and Cross-Cultural Perspectives). N. K. Radina (Ed.). SPb: Nestor-History, 2019.

Daria S. Belyashova, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Daria S. Belyashova is a leading specialist of Personnel Assessment and Training Department; GAZ Automobile Plant, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Graduate of the master's program "Political Linguistics" of the National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Research interests: international relations, Germany.


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How to Cite
Radina, N., & Belyashova, D. (2021). Digital Political Participation of Western and Eastern Parts of Germany Residents (based on Online Petitions). Changing Societies & Personalities, 5(1), 63–82. doi:10.15826/csp.2021.5.1.122