Transformer States: A Series on Digital Government and Human Rights

The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice’s “Transformer States” series explores the digital transformation of the State and its impacts on the lives and rights of individuals, through in-depth interviews with practitioners and academics working on digital government and through blog posts by practitioners and scholars.

As governments around the world implement “digital transformation” strategies, this series of interviews and blog posts draws attention to varied and indicative cases of the problems which can arise when governments’ digitalization efforts follow certain logics and move in certain directions.The series is guided by a set of central questions. What are the promises of digital transformation? What political ideals and motives are propelling these developments and who is involved in driving and producing these digital transformations? What human rights concerns have already emerged and are to be expected? And, what can and should be the response of the human rights movement, but also of governments, legislators, courts, and wider civil society, to ensure that digital government lives up to its promises and protects and fulfills the human rights of all?

Each episode in our series of conversations features an in-depth interview with a practitioner or academic who is undertaking cutting-edge research or advocacy on the digital transformation of government. We examine case studies as varied as: the exclusionary effects of digital ID in Kenya, “digital-by-default” welfare benefits in the United Kingdom, and the Social Credit system in China.

A curated series of blog posts accompanies these interviews, written by practitioners and scholars alike. These blogs explore critical issues arising from digital government transformations around the world, covering topics such as the monitoring of disability benefit recipients’ social media accounts in the United States and the Bolsa Família system in Brazil.

The aim of this series is not only to allow participants to become better acquainted with topics at the intersection of digital government and human rights, but also to create an accessible, open-access repository of information and resources. You can therefore find below the recorded conversations, event summaries accompanied by transcripts and additional reading materials, and the blog series. We hope that the materials on this webpage can serve as a hub for information and exchange.

Please contact Victoria Adelmant if you have any questions about the series or if you are interested in publishing a blog.

Recordings of Conversations

Event Summaries
Blogs
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