The Digital State
AbstractThe course examines the new responsibilities and obligations of state actors as they implement IT systems. It explores how public bodies use and store data, questions the line between public and private companies, and explores political and ethical questions of infrastructure and responsibility during public digitization initiatives.
DescriptionDenmark is at the forefront of public digitalization with profound consequences for public institutions and citizens. In the years to come the importance of digitalization is only likely to increase. To be able to analyze and reflect on some of the complex challenges of public sector digitalization, this course draws on ethnographic studies and theoretical frameworks from Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, and Organisational studies. The course will be focused on a range of case studies of public digitalization. It covers topics such as the digitalization and its effects, the digital state in everyday life, motivations for digitization, comparisons of state digitalization initiatives, as well as successful and failed public digitizalization projects.
This course requires a high level of reading ability in the English language, and the capacity to analyse and synthesize texts. You need to have taken and passed a course that demands reading of 2 academic articles per week. While you do not need to have encountered any particular theories before, a grounding in social science ways of analysing and writing will be useful.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Describe and reflect on historic changes occurring in how states organise information
- Compare digitalization initiatives in a global perspective
- Analyse and participate in ongoing research into the digitisation of Scandinavian states and the Danish state in particular
- Reflect on discourses of innovation through the lenses of transparency, accountability and responsibility
- Theorise new spaces where state and non-state actors intersect
The course is exclusively based on readings, seminar discussions and workshop exercises. There will be some guest lectures. However, you will therefore be expected to do the class reading before class, using worksheets, and be prepared to participate in active discussion and debate, exercises and demonstrations.
The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Preparation for lectures and exercises: 30%
- Lectures: 10%
- Assignments: 10%
- Exam with preparation: 10%
- Other: 40%
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, external (7-trinsskala)
C: Submission of written work
Students will submit a 15 page individually authored exam which responds to one mandatory question and one question selected from four options.