Research project

Citizenship Governance in the Age of Covid-19: The Case of Social Credit

The Covid-19 crisis has triggered a new wave of digitalisation. To counter the devastating effects of the virus, states and corporations are experimenting with systems that surveil citizens. Emerging technologies are 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 explores the models of social credit systems being developed and their effects on our lives. It argues that such systems remodel theories and practices of law enforcement, governance and citizenship, creating new concepts like “digital panopticon” or “algocratic governance”. The project invites us to consider the technological challenges that will shape the institution of citizenship in the 21st century.

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