[Air-L] Reminder CfP EASST 2018 After Data Activism

Katja Mayer katja.mayer at univie.ac.at
Mon Feb 12 06:39:33 PST 2018

Dear all,

a gentle reminder: please consider submitting a paper to our session E07 
until midnight CET on February 14th, 2018.


Katja, Guillén, Stefania

After Data Activism: reactions to civil society's engagement with data


  * Guillén Torres (University of Amsterdam)
  * Katja Mayer (Technical University Munich)
  * Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam)

        Short abstract

This panel focuses on data practices that hinder rather than foster 
civil society's political engagement. We invite you to discuss how data 
governance, data science and social technologies are co-producing 
asymmetries of power.

        Long abstract

By foregrounding the constitutive power of information to shape social 
reality (Braman, 2006), recent approaches to datafication have 
highlighted data's active role in configuring new ways of engaging 
politically with -while dissolving the barriers between- public policy, 
economy, science, nature and culture (Milan & van der Velden, 2016). 
Thus, the term data activism has been used to study practices in which 
data plays a crucial role in shaping civil society's agenda, in 
particular when taking action against governmental or corporate 
practices of injustice or misinformation. Today, various actors embrace 
the "data as new oil" metaphor and we even witness multiple forms of 
"open-washing" of politics and economies (e.g. transparency). Other 
actors however, have lately shown reluctance to support civic engagement 
with data, implementing strategies of information control at different 
scales: from the enactment of government-wide policies that make 
difficult access to data, to recurrent denials of information requests, 
passing by the wilful production of the opaqueness of Automated Decision 
Making or scoring systems.

This panel focuses on how certain actors are taking advantage of 
information's capacity to shape social reality, with a special focus on 
data practices that resist rather than foster citizens' political 
engagement. We invite you to discuss how mechanisms of information 
control produce and sustain asymmetries of power, often in complicity 
with data science and social technologies. We further welcome 
contributions focused on experiences with data activism through the 
mobilisation of open data and public sector information, or dealing with 
the political aftermath of data-driven projects.

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