Team at the Chair of Digital Governance


Sebastian Stier



Phone: +49 221 47694 221

Sebastian Stier is a political scientist and Senior Researcher at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne. Currently, he serves as Interim Scientific Director of the Department Computational Social Science. His research is situated in the fields of political communication, digital media, comparative politics and computational social science. He is enrolled as a Habilitation candidate at the TUM.

Recent work has been published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and West European Politics. He is leading collaborative projects funded by the German Research Foundation DFG, the Leibniz Association and the Volkswagen Foundation. He is also a member of the editorial board of Political Communication. More information about the person and publications can be found on


Dr. Franziska Pradel



Office: H.207
Phone: +49 89 907793-383


Franziska Pradel works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Chair of Digital Governance at the HfP/TU Munich. Prior to this position, she worked as a doctoral researcher at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics at the University of Cologne (2018-2021). She wrote her thesis in political science on "Biased political information in search engines and their effects." Her research interests include online political communication, especially investigating biases on online platforms and their effects on political attitudes, computational social science, and experiments.


Pradel, F. (2021). Biased Representation of Politicians in Google and Wikipedia Search? The Joint Effect of Party Identity, Gender Identity and Elections. Political Communication, 38(4), 447–478.

Pradel, F., & Sattler, S. (2020). Memories of a Death Threat: Negative Consequences of Unconscious Thoughts About a Terrorist Attack on Attitudes Towards Alcohol. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 003022282098493.

Mertens, A., Pradel, F., Rozyjumayeva, A., & Wäckerle, J. (2019). As the Tweet, so the Reply?: Gender Bias in Digital Communication with Politicians. Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science - WebSci ’19, 193–201.

Gieck, R., Kinnunen, H.-M., Li, Y., Moghaddam, M., Pradel, F., Gloor, P. A., Paasivaara, M., & Zylka, M. P. (2016). Cultural Differences in the Understanding of History on Wikipedia. In M. P. Zylka, H. Fuehres, A. Fronzetti Colladon, & P. A. Gloor (Hrsg.), Designing Networks for Innovation and Improvisation (S. 3–12). Springer International Publishing.

Franzi is interested in supervising thesis in the following topics:

  1. Biases in Political Communication (Gender Bias, Intergroup Bias)
  2. Political Information Seeking
  3. Incivility and Hate Speech
  4. Political Attacks
  5. Misinformation
  6. Emotions in Political Communication

Jan Zilinsky, PhD



Raum: H.207
Telefon: +49 89 907793-383



Jan Zilinsky is a computational social scientist. His research is focused on interactions between information ecosystems, economic policies, and politics. He published academic papers about topics including economic evaluations, populism, electoral competition, and social media.


Full list of publications:

Jan is prepared to supervise theses in the following topics:

  1. Elections and voting behavior
  2. American Politics
  3. Economic policy
  4. Globalization
  5. Populism
  6. Digital media

Research Associates

Shota Gelovani, M.A.



Office: H.205
Phone: +4915772068720


Shota Gelovani is a research associate and a PhD candidate at the Chair of Digital Governance since November 2020. He has a B.A. degree in International Relations from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and a M.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. Shota also worked as a project coordinator of for two years prior to his master’s studies. In his dissertation, he focuses on political polarization in a comparative perspective between consolidated and hybrid democracies.

Shota is interested in supervising thesis in the following topics:

  1. Political polarization
  2. Immigration
  3. Internet and social media
  4. Comparative politics

Soyeon Jin, M.A.



Office: H.205
Telephone: 089907793382


Soyeon Jin is a research associate and a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Yannis Theocharis. After she got a B.A. degree in Sociology and Media & Communication from the Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea, she received her M.A. in Sociology at the University of Mannheim, Germany. During her master, she worked as a student assistant at the team survey design and methodology, at GESIS (Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences). Her dissertation focuses on the media salience, the public salience, immigration attitudes and immigrant integration.


Theocharis, Y., Cardenal, A., Jin, S., Aalberg, T., Hopmann, D. N., Strömbäck, J., Castro, L., Esser, F., Van Aelst, P., de Vreese, C., Corbu, N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., & Štětka, V. (2021). Does the platform matter? Social media and COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs in 17 countries. New Media & Society. 

Soyeon is interested in supervising thesis in the following topics:

  1. Immigration attitudes
  2. Immigrant Integration
  3. Social media
  4. Misinformation
  5. Online incivility

Student Research Assistants

Anna Wohlmann, B.A.





Anna Wohlmann is a Master's student in the M.Sc. Politics & Technology program at HfP and a student research assistant at the Chair of Digital Governance. The focus areas of the Master's program are computational social science, social and environmental impacts of machine learning applications, and social movements. Previously, Anna worked at the Mannheimer Center for European Social Research (MZES) and earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Mannheim.