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Digital Dictatorship: How relations between state and society transform under surveillance and disinformation campaigns

Comparative Politics
Contentious Politics
Political Violence
Internet
Social Media
Narratives
Political Regime
Technology
PRA166
Mirjam Edel
Universität Tübingen
Oliver Schlumberger
Universität Tübingen
Marc Jones
Hamad bin Khalifa University

Building: B - Novotného lávka, Floor: 3, Room: 315

Tuesday 13:30 - 15:15 CEST (05/09/2023)

Abstract

Digitization has provided autocrats with new tools to rule. AI-assisted technologies produce new, less costly ways of collecting and processing information, and evidence is increasing that this enables ruling strategies to become more targeted and individualized. Furthermore, digitization implies transformations of information processing and spatiality that “compress notions of geographic proximity which renders human interaction less contingent on physical vicinity, and more on the availability of digital infrastructure” (Saglam 2022: 4). Information and knowledge have become core currencies for power distribution (Zuboff 2019). Accordingly, issues of data analysis, surveillance, and information manipulation are key to understand the distribution and redistribution of political power. This panel intends to present cutting-edge research that empirically investigates and theoretically reflects the implications of digitization on how state and society interact. In other words: Can we observe, beyond a shift of ruling tools, deeper transformations in “how those in power deal with those who are not” (Fishman 1990), i.e., in core regime characteristics? If so, which reactions or adaptions from the societal realm are apparent?

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