Skip to content

Research project

Citizenship governance in the age of Covid-19: the case of social credit

This project studied the social credit systems being developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis and their effects on society.

The Covid-19 crisis has triggered a new wave of digitalisation. To counter the devastating effects of the virus, states and corporations have been experimenting with systems that surveil citizens. Emerging technologies have been increasingly used to assign “social credit” to individuals, classifying them as healthy or unhealthy, safe or dangerous, trustworthy or treacherous. Such systems track citizens, rank or score them, and nudge or steer their behavior.

This project explored the models of social credit systems being developed and their effects on our lives. It argued that such systems remodel theories and practices of law enforcement, governance and citizenship, creating new concepts like “digital panopticon” or “algocratic governance”. 

Go back to top of the page