Data Democracy


Book by Feras Batarseh and Ruixin Yang: “Data Democracy: At the Nexus of Artificial Intelligence, Software Development, and Knowledge Engineering provides a manifesto to data democracy. After reading the chapters of this book, you are informed and suitably warned! You are already part of the data republic, and you (and all of us) need to ensure that our data fall in the right hands. Everything you click, buy, swipe, try, sell, drive, or fly is a data point. But who owns the data? At this point, not you! You do not even have access to most of it. The next best empire of our planet is one who owns and controls the world’s best dataset. If you consume or create data, if you are a citizen of the data republic (willingly or grudgingly), and if you are interested in making a decision or finding the truth through data-driven analysis, this book is for you. A group of experts, academics, data science researchers, and industry practitioners gathered to write this manifesto about data democracy.

Key Features

  • The future of the data republic, life within a data democracy, and our digital freedoms
  • An in-depth analysis of open science, open data, open source software, and their future challenges
  • A comprehensive review of data democracy’s implications within domains such as: healthcare, space exploration, earth sciences, business, and psychology
  • The democratization of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and data issues such as: Bias, imbalance, context, and knowledge extraction
  • A systematic review of AI methods applied to software engineering problems…(More)”.

Meaningful Inefficiencies: Civic Design in an Age of Digital Expediency


Book by Eric Gordon and Gabriel Mugar: “Public trust in the institutions that mediate civic life-from governing bodies to newsrooms-is low. In facing this challenge, many organizations assume that ensuring greater efficiency will build trust. As a result, these organizations are quick to adopt new technologies to enhance what they do, whether it’s a new app or dashboard. However, efficiency, or charting a path to a goal with the least amount of friction, is not itself always built on a foundation of trust.

Meaningful Inefficiencies is about the practices undertaken by civic designers that challenge the normative applications of “smart technologies” in order to build or repair trust with publics. Based on over sixty interviews with change makers in public serving organizations throughout the United States, as well as detailed case studies, this book provides a practical and deeply philosophical picture of civic life in transition. The designers in this book are not professional designers, but practitioners embedded within organizations who have adopted an approach to public engagement Eric Gordon and Gabriel Mugar call “meaningful inefficiencies,” or the deliberate design of less efficient over more efficient means of achieving some ends. This book illustrates how civic designers are creating meaningful inefficiencies within public serving organizations. It also encourages a rethinking of how innovation within these organizations is understood, applied, and sought after. Different than market innovation, civic innovation is not just about invention and novelty; it is concerned with building communities around novelty, and cultivating deep and persistent trust.

At its core, Meaningful Inefficiencies underlines that good civic innovation will never just involve one single public good, but must instead negotiate a plurality of publics. In doing so, it creates the conditions for those publics to play, resulting in people truly caring for the world. Meaningful Inefficiencies thus presents an emergent and vitally needed approach to creating civic life at a moment when smart and efficient are the dominant forces in social and organizational change….(More)”.

Towards adaptive governance in big data health research: implementing regulatory principles


Chapter by Alessandro Blasimme and Effy Vayena: “While data-enabled health care systems are in their infancy, biomedical research is rapidly adopting the big data paradigm. Digital epidemiology for example, already employs data generated outside the public health care system – that is, data generated without the intent of using them for epidemiological research – to understand and prevent patterns of diseases in populations (Salathé 2018)(Salathé 2018). Precision medicine – pooling together genomic, environmental and lifestyle data – also represents a prominent example of how data integration can drive both fundamental and translational research in important medical domains such as oncology (D. C. Collins et al. 2017). All of this requires the collection, storage, analysis and distribution of massive amounts of personal information as well as the use of state-of-the art data analytics tools to uncover healthand disease related patterns.


The realization of the potential of big data in health evokes a necessary commitment to a sense of “continuity” articulated in three distinct ways: a) from data generation to use (as in the data enabled learning health care ); b) from research to clinical practice e.g. discovery of new mutations in the context of diagnostics; c) from strictly speaking health data (Vayena and Gasser 2016) e.g. clinical records, to less so e.g. tweets used in digital epidemiology. These continuities face the challenge of regulatory and governance approaches that were designed for clear data taxonomies, for a less blurred boundary between research and clinical practice, and for rules that focused mostly on data generation and less on their eventual and multiple uses.

The result is significant uncertainty about how responsible use of such large amounts of sensitive personal data could be fostered. In this chapter we focus on the uncertainties surrounding the use of biomedical big data in the context of health research. Are new criteria needed to review biomedical big data research projects? Do current mechanisms, such as informed consent, offer sufficient protection to research participants’ autonomy and privacy in this new context? Do existing oversight mechanisms ensure transparency and accountability in data access and sharing? What monitoring tools are available to assess how personal data are used over time? Is the equitable distribution of benefits accruing from such data uses considered, or can it be ensured? How is the public being involved – if at all – with decisions about creating and using large data
repositories for research purposes? What is the role that IT (information technology) players, and especially big ones, acquire in research? And what regulatory instruments do we have to ensure that such players do not undermine the independence of research?…(More)”.

Algorithmic Regulation and (Im)perfect Enforcement in the Personalized Economy


Chapter by Christoph Busch in “Data Economy and Algorithmic Regulation: A Handbook on Personalized Law”, C.H.Beck Nomos Hart, 2020: “Technological advances in data collection and information processing makes it possible to tailor legal norms to specific individuals and achieve an unprecedented degree of regulatory precision. However, the benefits of such a “personalized law” must not be confounded with the false promise of “perfect enforcement”. To the contrary, the enforcement of personalized law might be even more challenging and complex than the enforcement of impersonal and uniform rules. Starting from this premise, the first part of this Essay explores how algorithmic personalization of legal rules could be operationalized for tailoring disclosures on digital marketplaces, mitigating discrimination in the sharing economy and optimizing the flow of traffic in smart cities. The second part of the Essay looks into an aspect of personalized law that has so far been rather under-researched: a transition towards personalized law involves not only changes in the design of legal rules, but also necessitates modifications regarding compliance monitoring and enforcement. It is argued that personalized law can be conceptualized as a form of algorithmic regulation or governance-by-data. Therefore, the implementation of personalized law requires setting up a regulatory framework for ensuring algorithmic accountability. In a broader perspective, this Essay aims to create a link between the scholarly debate on algorithmic decision-making and automated legal enforcement and the emerging debate on personalized law….(More)”.

Data in Society: Challenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation


Book edited by Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane and Humphrey Southall: “Statistical data and evidence-based claims are increasingly central to our everyday lives. Critically examining ‘Big Data’, this book charts the recent explosion in sources of data, including those precipitated by global developments and technological change. It sets out changes and controversies related to data harvesting and construction, dissemination and data analytics by a range of private, governmental and social organisations in multiple settings.

Analysing the power of data to shape political debate, the presentation of ideas to us by the media, and issues surrounding data ownership and access, the authors suggest how data can be used to uncover injustices and to advance social progress…(More)”.

Official Statistics 4.0: Verified Facts for People in the 21st Century


Book by Walter J. Radermacher: “This book explores official statistics and their social function in modern societies. Digitisation and globalisation are creating completely new opportunities and risks, a context in which facts (can) play an enormously important part if they are produced with a quality that makes them credible and purpose-specific. In order for this to actually happen, official statistics must continue to actively pursue the modernisation of their working methods.

This book is not about the technical and methodological challenges associated with digitisation and globalisation; rather, it focuses on statistical sociology, which scientifically deals with the peculiarities and pitfalls of governing-by-numbers, and assigns statistics a suitable position in the future informational ecosystem. Further, the book provides a comprehensive overview of modern issues in official statistics, embodied in a historical and conceptual framework that endows it with different and innovative perspectives. Central to this work is the quality of statistical information provided by official statistics. The implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the form of indicators is another driving force in the search for answers, and is addressed here….(More)”

Gendering Smart Mobilities


Book edited by Tanu Priya Uteng, Hilda Rømer Christensen, and Lena Levin: “This book considers gender perspectives on the ‘smart’ turn in urban and transport planning to effectively provide ‘mobility for all’ while simultaneously attending to the goal of creating green and inclusive cities. It deals with the conceptualisation, design, planning, and execution of the fast-emerging ‘smart’ solutions.

The volume questions the efficacy of transformations being brought by smart solutions and highlights the need for a more robust problem formulation to guide the design of smart solutions, and further maps out the need for stronger governance to manage the introduction and proliferation of smart technologies. Authors from a range of disciplinary backgrounds have contributed to this book, designed to converse with mobility studies, transport studies, urban-transport planning, engineering, human geography, sociology, gender studies, and other related fields.

The book fills a substantive gap in the current gender and mobility discourses, and will thus appeal to students and researchers studying mobilities in the social, political, design, technical, and environmental sciences….(More)”.

Network governance


Book by Naim Kapucu and Qian Hu: “Network governance has received much attention within the fields of public administration and policy in recent years, but surprisingly few books are designed specifically to help students, researchers, and practitioners examine key concepts, synthesize the growing body of literature into reliable frameworks, and to bridge the theory-practice gap by exploring network applications. Network Governance: Theories, Frameworks, and Applications is the first textbook to focus on interorganizational networks and network governance from the perspective of public policy and administration, asking important questions such as: How are networks designed and developed? How are they governed, and what type of leadership do they require? To whom are networks accountable, and when are they effective? How can network governance contribute to effective delivery of public services and policy implementation?

In this timely new book, authors Naim Kapucu and Qian Hu define and examine key concepts, propose exciting new theoretical frameworks to synthetize the fast-growing body of network research in public policy and administration, and provide detailed discussion of applications. Network Governance offers not only a much-needed systematic examination of existing knowledge, but it also goes much further than existing books by discussing the applications of networks in a wide range of management practice and policy domains—including natural resource management, environmental protection, public health, emergency and crisis management, law enforcement, transportation, and community and economic development. Chapters include understudied network research topics such as power and decision-making in interorganizational networks, virtual networks, global networks, and network analysis applications. What sets this book apart is the introduction of social network analysis and coverage of applications of social network analysis in the policy and management domains. PowerPoint slides and a sample syllabus are available for adopters on an accompanying website. Drawing on literature from sociology, policy sciences, organizational studies, and economics, this textbook will be required reading for courses on network governance, collaborative public management, cross-sector governance, and collaboration and partnerships in programs of public administration, public affairs, and public policy….(More)”.

The Digital Prism: Transparency and Managed Visibilities in a Datafied World


Book by Mikkel Flyverbom: “We live in times of transparency. Digital technologies expose everything we do, like, and search for, and it is difficult to remain private and out of sight. Meanwhile, many people are concerned about the unchecked powers of tech giants and the hidden operations of big data, artificial intelligence and algorithms and call for more openness and insight. How do we – as individuals, companies and societies – deal with these technological and social transformations? Seen through the prism of digital technologies and data, our lives take new shapes and we are forced to manage our visibilities carefully. This book challenges common ways of thinking about transparency, and argues that the management of visibilities is a crucial, but overlooked force that influences how people live, how organizations work, and how societies and politics operate in a digital, datafied world….(More)”.

Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance


Book edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar: “Democracies are currently undergoing a period of both challenge and renewal. Democratic innovations are proliferating in politics, governance, policy, and public administration. This Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance advances understanding of democratic innovations by critically reviewing their importance throughout the world. The overarching themes are a focus on citizens and their relationship to these innovations, and the resulting effects on political equality and policy impact.

The Handbook covers different types of democratic innovations; their potential to combat current problems with democracy; the various actors involved; their use in different areas of policy and governance; their application in different parts of the world; and the methods used to research them. Contributors therefore offer a definitive overview of existing research on democratic innovations, while also setting the agenda for future research and practice.

Featuring a critical combination of theoretical, empirical and methodological work on democratic innovations, this insightful Handbook balances depth, originality and accessibility to make it an ideal research companion for scholars and students of democratic governance alike. Public administrators and participation practitioners will also benefit from its guidance on citizen engagement processes….(More)”.