Governance and digital technologies (2018 – now)

This project investigates how the power vested in digital technologies differs from and interacts with more traditional forms of political power across societies.

Related publications

Algorithms, contexts, governance: An introduction to the special issue (2022)

This introduction to the special issue on algorithmic governance in context offers an outline of the field and summarizes each contribution to the issue.

Digitalising City Governance in Russia: The Case of the ‘Active Citizen’ Platform (2021)

What is the role of civic tech in contemporary Russian governance? A data-driven analysis of the ‘Active Citizen’ platform deployed in Moscow shows that the way in which polls are conducted on the platform has various consequences, from serving the city administration’s PR needs to shuffling the power balance in various policy areas and effectively disempowering certain stakeholder groups, as well as helping the administration to increase control over a policy domain. At the same time, some platform uses actually empower citizens by engaging them in decision-making and offering grounds for further mobilisation.

E-Government in Russia: Plans, Reality, and Future Outlook (2021)

This chapter traces the development of e-Government in Russia from 2002 to 2020 through the lens of public administration and administrative reform. Whereas in many countries digitization of the public sphere was implemented on an already developed and properly functional government administration, in Russia both reform projects coexisted for quite some time. The overlap between the two major reforms created internal tensions that affected e-Government development trajectory. As a result, in the context of digitization and global e-Government development the Russian case offers a peculiar instance. Despite the ambitious plans and strategies, the implementation of e-Government in Russia still lags behind most of the European countries. We argue that the level of implementation fell short of projected goals because of the resistance of the incumbent public administration system, but also due to the discrepancy of e-Government ideas and ideals between the members of the governing elite. 

Open Government Data in Russia (2021)

Open data can be defined in different ways and based on different principles, but it generally entails that anyone can access, use, and share the data freely. In the broader sense, open government data is not only datasets, but also open government initiatives, policies and strategies, data management and publication approach, and models for interaction with citizens, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and business. This Chapter presents the Open Government Data initiative in Russia: from its inception to the abolishment. It explores the Russian open data strategy from the policy and implementation perspectives, discusses the regional dimension of open data, and provides an overview on the forms of interaction between the state and the citizens based in the open data. 

Algorithmic Governance: A Modes of Governance Approach (2020)

New modes of collective action enabled by algorithm-driven technologies raise pressing questions, including who is accountable for their operation, whether they can create injustices and erode civic norms, and how we should resolve (un)intended consequences. To address these issues, we need a more detailed understanding of how algorithmic governance functions across sectors and societies. We use governance of three policy problems – speeding, disinformation, and social sharing – to illustrate what happens when algorithms are deployed to enable coordination in different governance situations. We argue that deploying algorithmic systems creates a shift toward a special form of design‐based governance, with power exercised ex ante via choice architectures defined through protocols, requiring lower levels of commitment from governing actors.