Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation


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.

View more

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.


Key Themes

  • 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.
View less

What's new

In the media

Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding

Source: BBC
BSoG team: Mihalis Kritikos
Posted on 27.02.2023
In the press

Europe Talks Back - Europod

Source: Europod
BSoG team: Trisha Meyer
Posted on 04.11.2022
Videos & podcasts


Sports T-Index: Sports Transparency Index

Period January 2023 - June 2026
Funded By

Co-funded by the EU

Digital Governance: protecting human agency in social media platforms

Period June 2022 - May 2026
Funded By

European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)