Transformation of the state in the digital age

Digital transformation is a comprehensive process that changes our living conditions. It goes far beyond the electronic form of communication and working processes and the increased storage capacity of data. In fact it involves state and society in a fundamental change of behaviours and attitudes, organisations, interactions and contextual relationships which exceed the nation-state framework. The state as a social system of rules and institutions is being reshaped in its internal and external form over the course of ongoing digitalisation and is experiencing an assimilation of the digitalised living and functional environments of its citizens as well as social subsystems.

The paradigm shift associated with the concept of digital transformation provides the framework for the interdisciplinary scientific analysis of the transformative efforts required of the state. The focus lies on questions regarding the suitability of law, procedures and organisation as control resources in a digital society and the necessary internal organisational transformations of the state, in particular public administration.

Two questions of great importance run as a common thread through all projects in the programme area:

  • How will digitalisation change the actions of the state, in particular the administration?
  • How can the state, in particular the administration, use the opportunities presented by digitalisation without endangering the basic principles of the rule of law and privacy protection?

The individual projects with focal points in various fields consistently aim to measure the transformation effects of the digital change on administration and develop recommendations for adjustments to the controlling resources of law, procedures and organisation.

On the one hand, this includes questions about the success factors in the implementation of eGovernment solutions, governance in the age of digitalisation, IT security and the further development of the legal framework.
On the other hand, the program area relates to the communication relations of the state as well as the protection of the citizens and the economy in cyberspace. The development and implementation of concepts of open government play a crucial role.
The programme area also encompasses the development of digital services and the regulation of new technologies – including secure IT infrastructures and data and privacy protection under the conditions of industry 4.0, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and decentralised IT-concepts.

The objects of research in the program area are concentrated into four core research topics:


Additional information on sub-projects can be called up via the sub-menu.

Note: The text on this home page is copyrighted. It is taken verbatim or based on Martini, "Digitalisierung als Herausforderung und Chance für Staat und Verwaltung" (Digitalisation as Challenge and Chance for State and Administration), FÖV Discussion Paper No. 85, 2016, in particular p. 26, 28 and 32.


Head of Department

Prof. Dr. Mario Martini