Transforming democratic values in algorithmic media

Partners: University of Amsterdam & Erasmus University Rotterdam
Type: PhD
Duration: 2023—2026

The growing role of algorithms in media has brought fundamental advantages for democratic procedures and democratic values, for instance regarding political information and certain kinds of political communications. On the other hand, some values might be under threat, such as privacy and civic participation. This project analyses which democratic, public values are at stake when algorithms play an ever-growing role in the media. These might include privacy, agency, autonomy, equality, non-discrimination, and others. Which democratic values are particularly under threat in a technological democracy? How might they be safeguarded? And which values ​​only come to the fore as a constitutive element of democratic procedures through technological advances? The project will draw on the ongoing empirical research on new media technologies and their impact on democratic procedures, and connect these insights to debates in political philosophy. It will address questions such as: In what ways have these procedures been transformed (or could they have been)? How should the values at stake, and their changes in time, be contextualized? How can we bring out impediments for citizens’ autonomy, new forms of discrimination through algorithmic racism, and the values specific to the profession of journalism? And how should we deal with potential conflicts of values?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest research results, blogs and news directly in your mailbox.