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New Research Centre at RUC Investigates Digital Citizenship

The recently established Centre for Digital Citizenship at Roskilde University will investigate how digital technologies are transforming public engagement.
Et digitalt menneske
Illustration: Colourbox.

 

What are the social and political implications of digital media technologies such as smartphones, social media, algorithms, and data? And how do these technologies shape individuals, citizens, organizations, and public opinion?

These are two of the main questions that a new research centre at Roskilde University, the Centre for Digital Citizenship, will investigate.

Digital media technologies can be conducive to political mobilisation and public discourse, but at the same time they may lead to less positive trends such as inequality, division, and reduced trust in society.

The researchers at the Centre for Digital Citizenship seek interdisciplinary explanations of complex digital trends and their societal consequences. The Centre’s research is focused on four main themes: Justice in the algorithmic society, participation in mediated public opinion, organisation and governance of and with data, and dis/information and trust.

Professor with special responsibilities Chris Peters and Professor Sine Nørholm Just, both from the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University, are responsible for the daily management of the Centre.

"For me, the four themes are interlinked. My own work focuses on how technological developments are challenging citizens’ trust in traditional democratic institutions, but we cannot understand the crisis of trust without understanding how algorithms and data are reorganising the democratic public debate," says Sine Nørholm Just.

Chris Peters agrees: 

“I work with the question of how people navigate the complex media landscape, focusing on the different ways they encounter information and what this means in terms of their interactions with each other and how they engage around public affairs. With the Centre, we will study these relationships between digitalisation and citizenship in all their complexity, seeking to help understand the democratic challenges and potentials of digital technologies."

The Centre for Digital Citizenship will be launched with an official opening on Thursday, October 14th, where a number of Danish and international researchers will debate the digitalisation of the public sphere at a research seminar followed by a reception. Everyone is welcome at the seminar, which will take place at Roskilde University.

 

For further information:

You can read more on the Centre’s website.