Digitalisation, public sphere and democracy ── Observations from Germany

April 23rd 2018 (Monday) 18:00 - 20:00
2nd Floor, iii Main Building, Hongo Campus, the University of Tokyo
Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann (Berlin Social Science Center)

Lecture Abstract

The talk will start with short overview of the political issues concerning digitalisation that are currently discussed in Germany. Among them are fake news, hate speech, but also the potential power of artificial intelligence. There are growing demands for legislative action, and Prof. Hofmann will show how the German government responds to them. The second part of the talk looks at the recent controversies over digital politics in Germany from a democratic perspective: How do modern societies perceive the relationship between technology development and their proclaimed social self determination? How do we intend to maintain control over the digital transformation? Prof. Hofmann will argue that we tend to overestimate the autonomy or power of technology but also, paradoxically, our political capacity to control it.

About the Speaker

Prof. Jeanette Hofmann is a political scientist with a focus on Internet regulation. At the WZB Berlin Social Science Center she heads the research group 'The Internet Policy Field', which studies the institutionalization of Internet regulation on the national level. She is co-director of the Berlin-based Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, professor of Internet policy at the Freie Universität Berlin, and principal investigator at the newly founded Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society. At the latter institute, she heads two research groups on 'digitalisation and democracy' and 'quantification and regulation'. In addition to her academic work, Prof. Hofmann has been involved in various political processes such as the UN World Summit on the Information Society, the Internet Governance Forum, and, as an expert member, in the committee of inquiry of the German Parliament "Internet and Digital Society".


Free admission. No registration needed.


Kaori Hayashi Research Group, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies), University of Tokyo

In Cooperation With

Project S ("Producing Multicultural Communities") of the Integrated Human Sciences Program for Cultural Diversity (IHS), University of Tokyo

* N.B.

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