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SP60295: Networks, governance and citizenship in a digital world

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 18      [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 360
Further information on unit levels Level: Doctoral (FHEQ level 8)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW100
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail to be confirmed
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take SP60290 AND take SP60291
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The unit's aims are to provide students with an understanding of:
i. The concepts, theory and scope of the digital world and its governance including understanding and researching physical and virtual networks, the assessment, management and communication of risk and the relationship between resources, networks and outcomes.
ii. The digital revolution, its relationship to neoliberalism and including global structural forces (eg. The global market economy), influential actors (eg. international organisations, transnational corporations, global NGOs as well as states) and digital and non-digital (eg trade, economics and welfare) policy frameworks and agreements;
iii. Policy options for addressing digital policy challenges, such as intellectual property, regulation of transnational flows, mass and targeted surveillance operations vs civil liberty and privacy, corruption, secrecy and transparency, big data and its challenges to policy and regulation.
iv. The digital strategic communications activities of state and corporate actors. The use of deception, including the use of 'astroturf' groups, 'sock puppets' and other digital identity management strategies.
v. The specific difficulties of analyzing virtual and digital environments and, therefore, of governance.

Learning Outcomes:
As a result of the development of the above understandings, students will be able to:
i. Understand current digital governance policy issues & debates;
ii. Critically examine digital governance ideas, objectives and documents;
iii. Consider how the digital revolution has affected strategic communications and identity management and the outcomes of such interactions;
iv. Recognise the ways in which the digital revolution affects the policy landscape;
v. Develop solutions to address policy conflicts which may otherwise prevent optimum policy impact.

At the end of the unit the student will be able:
i. Apply a systematic and coherent approach to critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, information and issues that is well-grounded in existing research and literature on governance and on risk (intellectual skill);
ii. Identify, conceptualise and communicate original and well-grounded insights and responses to important issues of digital governance and practice that demonstrate advanced scholarship (professional, practical skill);
iii. Use networked learning technologies as a means of developing one's own professional practice and scholarship (transferable skill).

Section 1: Introduction to risk and digital governance
1.1 Concepts, history and scope of the digital revolution
1.2 An introduction to digital governance
Section 2: Digital globalisation
2.1 Global digital governance - the emergence of national and global digital governance - the role of states, international organisations and NGOs.
2.2 Global surveillance - the national security state and the rise of mass surveillance b the US and UK security agencies.
2.3 Global leaks - The role of Wikileaks, Anonymous, Edward Snowden and digital whistleblowers
Section 3: Indicative cases and issues
3.1 Big data - What is it? How can it be governed, how to use it in research, how to use it in policy.
3.2 Cyber crime and cyber security - From transnational crime networks to counter-terrorism and 'hactivism'
3.3 Digital money - examining the policy debates on the governance of digital money.
3.4 Digital propaganda? The rise of 'astrotruf' and the 'sock puppet'
Section 4: The future of digital citizenship
4.1 Digital governance is coming under severe strain. What prospects are there for a more democratic system of governance and the rise of digital citizenship.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP60295 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • RHSP-APD04 : Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice