Big Data Applications in Governance and Policy

Introduction to Special Issue of Politics and Governance by Sarah Giest and Reuben Ng: ” Recent literature has been trying to grasp the extent as to which big data applications affect the governance and policymaking of countries and regions (Boyd & Crawford, 2012; Giest, 2017; Höchtl, Parycek, & Schöllhammer, 2015; Poel, Meyer, & Schroeder, 2018). The discussion includes the comparison to e-government and evidence-based policymaking developments that existed long before the idea of big data entered the policy realm. The theoretical extent of this discussion however lacks some of the more practical consequences that come with the active use of data-driven applications. In fact, much of the work focuses on the input-side of policymaking, looking at which data and technology enters the policy process, however very little is dedicated to the output side.

In short, how has big data shaped data governance and policymaking? The contributions to this thematic issue shed light on this question by looking at a range of factors, such as campaigning in the US election (Trish, 2018) or local government data projects (Durrant, Barnett, & Rempel, 2018). The goal is to unpack the mixture of big data applications and existing policy processes in order to understand whether these new tools and applications enhance or hinder policymaking….(More)”.