How can we help governments and institutions to make sense of novel data resources?

Governing the Digital Society foregrounds questions like: Which roles should governments, legislators, market actors, and citizens play in governing the digital society? What are important normative, ethical, societal principles of algorithmic design? How can data practices and data resources enable citizens to make governments more transparent and to participate meaningfully in decision-making? How can we help (local, national, supranational) governments and institutions to make sense of novel data resources and help them develop interpretative practices? How can these practices help shape opportunities for inclusion, social mobility, self-fulfilment, democratic control, and political participation?

Interdisciplinary collaboration

Utrecht University employs a number of researchers in various departments who are working on the issue of governing digital societies. We encourage interdisciplinary research groups and projects combining perspectives from humanities, social sciences, and information and computer sciences. We welcome theoretical, normative, empirical and practical-applied angles as well as research contributing to governance design; we closely collaborate with societal and industrial partners to engage in governmental practices. We also actively stimulate cross-overs with other focus-areas at UU (e.g. Applied Data Science and Human-centered AI).

External partners

We are closely allied with the Utrecht Data School (UDS) and Utrechtse Datawerkplaats as our core-team members overlap. Through these three initiatives we combine research, teaching and projects and engage with external partners, such as municipalities, media organisations and governmental institutions. Partners who are interested in collaboration, please contact one of the staff members.

Special Interest Groups

Starting in January 2020, we are developing special interest groups (SIGs) who actively collaborate in research, developing course material, co-creation with external partners and outreach. Please look at our Special Interest Groups. Starting in the second year, we will facilitate SIGs that operate across two or more focus-areas.