Aims and Scope

Of democracy we expect that it enables us to utilize collective intelligence such that our collective decisions build and enhance social welfare, and such that we accept their distributive and normative consequences. Collective decisions are produced by voting procedures which aggregate individual preferences and judgments. Before and after, individual preferences and judgments change as their underlying attitudes, values, and opinions change through discussion and deliberation. In large groups, these dynamics naturally go beyond the scope of the individual and consequently might show unexpected self-driven macroscopic systems dynamics following “socio-physical” laws.

On the other hand, aggregated information and preferences through media, polls, political parties, or interest groups, also play a large role in the individual opinion formation process, and further on, actors are also capable of strategic opinion formation in the light of a pending referendum, election or other collective decision.

Opinion dynamics and collective decision is thus a political science topic which shall be tackled from social choice and game theory, political and social psychology, as well as from a systems dynamics and sociophysics perspectives.

We cordially invite contributions to a workshop that shall bring together an interdisciplinary crowd of researchers. In the workshop, a mix of invited and contributed talks about published or recent research shall be presented and discussed. If there are too many high-quality contributions, some contributors will be offered to present a poster. A poster session will receive enough time in the program (guided by this view). Poster presenters will have the opportunity to advertise their poster in the plenum before.


Of interest are empirical as well as theoretical findings and models on the individual as well as on the societal level. Topics might include but are not restricted to:

  • Experimental finding about mechanisms of opinion formation and opinion change
  • Empirical findings about the dynamics of large scale opinion landscapes, e.g.  public policy mood, values, worldviews, and ideology
  • Agent-based models of opinion dynamics and their analysis with systematic simulation and methods of statistical mechanics
  • Game-theoretic models of opinion formation
  • Dynamics of repeated collective decisions
  • Dynamics of risk perception and collective threats
  • Procedures for the aggregation of collective decisions
  • Models of the interplay of collective decision and opinion dynamics
  • Procedure for the aggregation of a collective decision
  • Deliberation and its impact on collective decisions
  • Measurement of political attitudes, voter orientations and its change
  • Measurement concepts and empirical findings about political phenomena including  consensus formation, bipolarization, radicalization, extremism, and plurality
  • Multidimensionality of political positions
  • Salience of policy dimensions
  • Homophily and its impact on opinion dynamics
  • Social network and opinion dynamics
  • Opinion dynamics and the wisdom of the crowd
  • Opinion dynamics and social epistemology
  • Opinion dynamics and the evolution of social norms

The Workshop is part of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG Deutsch Forschungsgemeinschaft):