Future Society and Democracy in Europe
- Contact person:
- Michael Strange
- Centre for Modern European Studies (CEMES)
- Responsible at MaU:
- Michael Strange
- Project members at MaU:
- Time frame:
- 25 September 2023 - 31 December 2026
The research group has been approved in a highly competitive process to be part of the Centre for Modern European Studies (CEMES) initiative between Copenhagen, Lund, and Malmö Universities. We focus on the rapidly changing practices through which we live as societies– from automated decision-making that governs human life via algorithms, through new digitalisation that influence our socio-political organization and other new technologies that are increasingly influencing the way we consider what makes us human.
Whilst these shifts are often seen globally, though unequally, they are particularly pertinent to modern Europe, in particular the EU. On the one hand one of the EU’s aims is promotion of technological progress. Yet at the same time EU’s future has often been seen as dependent upon the maintenance of liberal values, in particular, human dignity, democracy, and the Rule of Law.
The question then is, what the new technological developments mean for the future of the EU and its member states? On the other hand, the EU is not just a passive object of changes, but a powerful stakeholder, with a strong ambition to become a global leader in establishing regulations to counter some of the perceived negative effects of the above-described development. We envisage the proposed research contributing to multiple academic and societal debates including, but not limited to:
- Impact of digitalisation on political-societal-cultural space
- Role of new governing technologies (e.g., post-NPM) in altering how humans interact with one another in the production of society and conduct of democratic practices.
- The politics and societal dimensions of future forms of welfare, including healthcare in which AI is increasingly seen as more empathetic and authoritative than human doctors.
- The ways in which AI - as implemented in concrete applications as well as an imaginary - implies certain ideas about the shape of information, its truthfulness and how to retrieve it.
- Generative AI in the production of new forms of disinformation, propaganda, and deep fakes.
- The uptake of AI in diverse social and cultural contexts
- Application of democratic theory to critical rethinking of the development and implementation of AI, including the role of digitalisation as both a form for individualisation and solidarity.
- The relationship between democratic policy processes and the EU’s regulatory role in digital technology, including the GDPR, the Digital Services Act, and the proposed AI Act.