In a moderated conversation, we will explore ‘Social Credit’, the much discussed, but little understood effort by the Chinese state to monitor and shape citizen behavior. For the state, the promise of integrating previously separated databases ostensibly enables it to promote trustworthiness in the economic sphere as well as in other areas of society. Hence the government slogan: “whoever violates the rules somewhere shall be restricted everywhere.” Social Credit has raised many concerns, especially outside of China, due to its punitive nature and its use of blacklists, leading many critics to invoke the world imagined by George Orwell in 1984. But how accurate is this Orwellian narrative, and how helpful is it in understanding this system? And how Social Credit compare to attempts by governments elsewhere to control and monitor behavior?
Speaker: Chenchen Zhang, Assistant Professor in Politics and International Relations at Queen’s University, Belfast

About the Series

Transformer States: A Conversation Series on Digital Government and Human Rights is a newly-launched series of virtual conversations organized by the Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project, based at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Through in-depth interviews with practitioners and academics working on digital government, this series aims to further explore digital transformation and its impact on the lives and rights of individuals. Read more about the series here.


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