The aim of the research project is to identify success factors that lead to the promotion of democratic values through participation and commitment on the internet and to preventively counteract tendencies of radicalisation. The methodological approach of the study combines quantitative and qualitative research methods to validate the following research hypothesis: Participation and commitment, implemented through digital media - especially the Internet and social media platforms - make a significant contribution to promoting democracy and preventing tendencies towards radicalisation.
In the first step, around 700 existing data records (from the entries for the Smart Hero Award 2014-2017) will be checked for completeness and timeliness and prepared accordingly. Based on these findings, a topic-specific mapping of projects and initiatives in Germany will be created. In the next research step, key questions are applied to a well justified selection of case studies in order to deepen the knowledge gained by means of a qualitative analysis. For six case studies, subsequent surveys are carried out to validate the results. According to the current state of knowledge, it can be expected that in the subsequent analysis conclusions can be drawn about the output and outcome of the investigated case studies, which may apply generally to projects and initiatives that promote democracy and contribute to the prevention of radicalisation tendencies.