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Rethinking Digital Divides by Linda Leung
Antonio Díaz Andrade

backgrounds. The book addresses the overarching question of how individuals from refugee backgrounds use digital technology to fulfil their communication and information needs. In doing so, Leung describes the scenarios and challenges that refugees face in the three stages that typically describe their journeys: before displacement, during displacement (in transit, refugee camps or detention centres) and resettlement. In her analysis, she rejects the simplistic conceptualisation of the digital divide as a matter

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

. , 2016 ). Digitisation – the collection, conversion, storage and sharing of data and the use of digital technologies to collect and manage information about individuals from affected communities – increasingly shapes understandings of need and the response to emergencies. 2 This use of digital technologies produces ‘digital bodies’ – images, information, biometrics and other data stored in digital space – that represent, track, quantify and monitor the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

privileging of the design principle over the need for, or even the possibility of, political change. Design Not Politics The computational turn and societal dependence on digital technologies has changed the way the world is understood and the status of humans within it ( Chandler, 2018 ). The privileging of the design principle is central to this change. Besides the spatial shift from circulation to connectivity, an ontological, epistemological and methodological translation has also taken place ( Duffield, 2018 ). While anticipating late-modernity, the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

’. Some have argued that supposedly innovative ideas were nothing new, resembling the move to participation and accountability in the 1990s ( Sandvik, 2014 ). Others have suggested that there was something particularly worrying in the focus on digital technologies, the accumulation of data and the application of biometric technologies, which generated insidious implications for privacy and power ( Duffield, 2015 , 2019 ). The whole focus on entrepreneurship has also been subject to critique

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Brigitte Nerlich, Sarah Hartley, Sujatha Raman and Alexander Thomas T. Smith

and politics, policymakers have proposed various solutions, such as promoting greater public engagement with science and policy, co-design of scientific research with stakeholders, open and participatory forms of innovation, increasing transparency in scientific advice for policymaking, and enhancing open access to scientific data and research outputs. Such solutions have begun to exploit a number of new digital technologies and algorithms which can be used for good or for ill – for sharing information quickly; for making information public and available for public

in Science and the politics of openness
Open Access (free)
Utopia
Graeme Kirkpatrick

of subordination and domination in the workplace, which increasingly turn on subjects’ internalisation of behavioural and other norms, accompanied by an ideology in which people are made to feel responsible for everything that happens to them. These important works neglect to discuss how digital technology has been moulded to facilitate and enforce these processes. The changes these authors describe have implications for the critical theory of technology, since capitalist technology extends its hold over people into deeper recesses of their inner lives and social

in Technical politics
Open Access (free)
From critical theory to technical politics
Graeme Kirkpatrick

separate, systems sphere beyond the scope of theories of social and cultural meaning. Technology, he argues, can be more or less meaningful depending on its social and historical location. One of his key innovations is to insist that both communication and the drive to create efficient and effective connections that characterise Habermas’s systems dimension are best understood as combined inside the technical sphere. This is a subtle introjection of the central opposition of Habermasian theory, and it has important consequences. 2 Digital technology and critique

in Technical politics
Open Access (free)
Graeme Kirkpatrick

no associated democratic advance. Nearly all of the digital technology that we use from day to day has a customisable interface, for example, enabling people to incorporate devices seamlessly into their lives, often transforming their embodied routines in the process. Since the late 1980s, interfaces on digital artefacts have been shaped by a design culture whose naturalist biases are largely consonant with Feenberg’s approved aesthetic. The emphasis has been on creating ‘environments’ that support both work and play, within which the human user does not have to

in Technical politics
Open Access (free)
The beast that no-one could – or should – control?
Stephen Curry

, and clarification of the notions of academic freedom and responsibility. The journey since the 1990s suggests that no-one is in overall control of these processes. This is perhaps inevitable, and may even be desirable in a democratic society that aspires to be more open. Open access 35 What is open access and how has it been implemented as a policy? Open access is very much an academic initiative, largely conceived as a tool for researchers. Its origins lie at the messy confluence of digital technology and open licensing for software (Eve, 2014; Suber, 2012

in Science and the politics of openness
Open Access (free)
Graeme Kirkpatrick

association with the unquestionable authority of experts, or even with narrow efficiency as a goal. The diffusion of digital technologies has encouraged the development of diverse cultures of experimentation, dabbling, reconfiguring, sabotage and so on. To the extent that the Internet, for instance, is a place where everyone periodically plays with technology, and mobile phones have become toys that people trust and incorporate into every aspect of their lives, what Feenberg calls the technical illusion has already evaporated. Much of this activity would have been

in Technical politics