T016
Technoscience and Transformation of the State
Convenors:
Sulfikar Amir (Nanyang Technological University)
David Galbreath (University of Bath)
Stream:
Tracks
Location:
117a
Sessions:
Thursday 1 September, 16:00-17:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This track sets out to examine how technoscience has allowed many developments that are changing the pattern of social relations and political governance. We look at this transformation in spatial politics to examine the impact of technoscience on the state.

Long abstract:

This track sets out to examine how new emerging technologies, primarily information and telecommunication technology (ICTs), are transforming the spatial dimensions of state governance. By space, we have traditionally understood to mean the geographical limits of state power, as seen in the Westphalian concept of national sovereignty or in the Weberian notions of the bureaucratic state. Both national sovereignty and the bureaucratic state suggests the limits of power or, more precisely, bounded spatial politics. Yet, technoscience has traditionally been used both to reinforce boundaries and to violate them, such as roads, rail, flight, credit, and many other developments. The convergence of technologies and science has allowed many developments that are changing the pattern of social relations, such as the internet, social media, computer learning and data collection and analysis. We look at this transformation in spatial politics by looking at the impact of four areas. These are big data, social media, surveillance and economic atomisation. Big data has become a major feature of government and commercial life. Social media has made the world appear smaller as it broadcasts experiences across the world, not even limited by language as computer translators become more ubiquitous. Surveillance in all its forms is not new but the prospect for ICT to enhance and exploit surveillance is greater than ever before. Finally, economic atomization refers to the ability for individuals to make economic decisions independent of geographic location. The track seeks to combine different epistemic approaches in STS to speak to contemporary governance questions.