The Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation (CD2I) conducts cutting-edge academic and policy-relevant research on the ongoing digital transformation of society. We critically examine the evolution of new modes of governance from an interdisciplinary perspective, specifically in terms of multistakeholder and democratic processes that involve private, public, and civil society actors, whilst paying attention to issues of power and participation.
Digital technologies contribute to a set of profound challenges to the authority and legitimacy of democratic governance. Digitalisation transforms our society and economy, questioning existing arrangements of power and regulation. Does technology break down barriers to participate in decision making? Do we govern technology or does technology govern us? Can governance of the Internet be entrusted to private actors alone? How do traditional public values translate into online environments?
Such questions address the difficulties in leveraging new technologies to enable effective citizen participation, the growing need for continued stakeholder engagement in global, European, national and local governance, and the need for concerted regulation in the digital environment. As such, the rapid pace of technological innovation upends existing forms of governance and necessitates the development of novel approaches.
- Sovereignty in a Digital Age
This research priority builds on a body of emerging policy and academic literature that focuses on digital sovereignty inside and outside of the state. We question how sovereignty is performed and determined across digital policy in Europe and beyond. While considering differences between governance structures, we conceptualise and map practices in involving non-state actors across policy levels and areas for the purposes of building legitimacy and efficiency.
- Agency in Algorithmic Governance
This research priority focuses on how agency is negotiated in and through algorithms. We view online technologies as actors and spaces whom we shape and through whom we are shaped. Agency is understood at individual and group level. We are interested in practices of empowerment, afforded through technical architectures, norms, governance or concerted regulation of tech platforms.
- Information Distrust and Disorder
In this research priority, we view disinformation as a manifestation of distrust and disorder in democracy. We analyse the topic from multiple complimentary angles, including how digital tools are abused to spread illegal and harmful content, and how disinformation interacts with political trust, journalism and regulation of tech platforms. We also investigate the potential and pitfalls of artificial intelligence in this context.
- Innovation in Digital Research
This research priority is geared towards conceptual and methodological innovations in the field of digital methods. The focus of the research is on methods that repurpose the affordances of social media (the so-called ‘methods of the medium’) for the study of antagonistic discourses and narratives. This research line extends the centre's expertise in web scraping, (social) network analysis, text and data mining, and data visualization. Specific attention is devoted to bridging gaps between quantitative methods from data science and interpretative practices from the humanities.
News | Publications | Events | In the media | Projects | Team
EU Digital Policymaking: (Dis)engagement through sovereignty?
CD2I lands three new Erasmus + education and research projects
CD2I lands three Horizon Europe research projects
Agency and representation in internet governance
Meta-participation in multistakeholder mechanisms: Peruvian civil society and the free trade agreement with the EU
Making their mark? How protest sparks, surfs and sustains media issue attention
Waarheid en wetenschap. Een boekvoorstelling met aansluitende lezing van Robbert Dijkgraaf
Panel debate - War in Ukraine: a Year Later and Ways Forward
In the media
Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding
Europe Talks Back - Europod
‘Waarom is het zo moeilijk om het leiderschap van Musk te laten bezinken?’
Digital democracies in peril: a post-structuralist lens on disinformation and individual agency online
Sports T-Index: Sports Transparency Index
Co-funded by the EU
Digital Governance: protecting human agency in social media platforms
European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)
SoMe4Dem-Social Media for Democracy – understanding the causal mechanisms of digital citizenship
Funded by EU