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 (digital) modes of governance from an interdisciplinary perspective, specifically multistakeholder and democratic processes that involve private, public, and civil society actors, whilst paying attention to issues of power and participation.
Does technology break down barriers to participate in decision-making? What are visible and invisible barriers to participation? How do traditional public values translate into an online environment? Do we govern technology or does technology govern us? Can governance of the Internet be entrusted to private actors alone?
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 and novel governance approaches in the digital environment.
- Legitimacy and Participation beyond the State
This research priority builds on a body of emerging policy and academic literature that focuses on institutional transformations inside and outside of the State, with a specific focus on understanding the evolution of formal and informal institutions and their impact and influence on democratic practices. While considering differences between governance structures, we conceptualise and map best practices in involving non-state actors across policy levels and areas for the purposes of building legitimacy and efficiency. Furthermore, we assess to which extent traditional forms of participation evolve in a digital context.
- Political Disinformation in a Digital Context
In this research priority, we focus on the abuse of digital tools to spread disinformation for political purposes. We analyse the topic from multiple complementary angles, including how disinformation influences political trust, foreign policy-making, and regulation of tech platforms. We also investigate the potential and pitfalls of artificial intelligence in this context.
- Digital Markets
Digitalisation is transforming the way that the markets function. Within this research priority, we focus on questions of governance of the digital market. This includes questions related to its functioning, and addressing tensions and bottlenecks of the supply and demand sides of the digital market. Topics include the EU single market, competition, copyright, taxation, data protection, and research and innovation policy.
- Innovation and Future of Education
Learning is a personal, almost unobservable process that leads to change – in beliefs, attitudes and skills. Moreover, the changing digital context presents a fundamental shift in higher education thinking. Higher Education today faces the complex challenge of identifying the right approaches that provide next generations with the intellectual finesse needed to thrive in a rapidly changing landscape. Building on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), this research priority seeks to provide an inter-disciplinary platform for advancing the research and salience of innovation in Higher Education, reflect on the effects of new and established ways of teaching, nurture excellence and foster social change.
VRT NWS and De Standaard publish results of De Stemming 2022, a collaboration of VUB Brussels School of Governance and University of Antwerp
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