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The pace of digitalization has not yet allowed societies to build robust analytical capacities to fully understand the drivers, channels and consequences of digital transformations. This may be a result not only of the speed of technological advances, but also of the subject’s complexity, a deficit in expertise and state capacity, and the limited access to relevant data, often owned by private companies. As a result, existing interventions to steer digitalization are rather experimental, and in many cases political intention struggles to translate into well-informed policy.
This course examines the interplay between government, business, and the wider society in governing digitalization. How are government, businesses, civil society organizations and users currently organized and affect public well-being? How do these political actors interact? What are some policy alternatives to current forms of digital governance? We will attempt go beyond highlighting the utopian and dystopian effects and instead identify which arguments have yielded the strongest evidence. The course takes a global perspective, going beyond Europe and the United States to China and the Middle East. Students are welcome to bring up examples from other countries.