Discourses and Practices of a "Digital Sovereignty"

FAU own research funding: EFI / ETI / ...


Project Details

Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Georg Glasze

Project members:
Dr. Zinaida Benenson
Dr. Matthias Braun
Prof. Dr. Peter Dabrock
Finn Dammann
Prof. Dr. Thomas Demmelhuber
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Felix Freiling
Dr. Dr. Albrecht Fritzsche
Prof. Dr. Franz Hofmann
Prof. Dr. Svenja Hagenhoff
Dr. Patrik Hummel
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Kammerl
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Meyer-Wegener
Prof. Dr. Sabine Pfeiffer
Dr. Christian Rückert
Prof. Dr. Christoph Safferling
Dr. Ronald Staples
Prof. Dr. Rainer Trinczek
Tobias Zumbrägel

Contributing FAU Organisations:
Chair for Computer Science 6 (Data Management)
Institut für Geographie
Lehrstuhl für Bürgerliches Recht, Recht des Geistigen Eigentums und Technikrecht
Lehrstuhl für Geographie (Kulturgeographie und Orientforschung)
Lehrstuhl für Informatik 1 (IT-Sicherheitsinfrastrukturen)
Lehrstuhl für Pädagogik mit dem Schwerpunkt Medienpädagogik
Lehrstuhl für Politik und Gesellschaft des Nahen Ostens
Lehrstuhl für Soziologie mit dem Schwerpunkt Arbeits- und Organisationssoziologie
Lehrstuhl für Soziologie mit dem Schwerpunkt Technik - Arbeit - Gesellschaft
Lehrstuhl für Strafrecht, Strafprozessrecht, Internationales Strafrecht und Völkerrecht
Lehrstuhl für Systematische Theologie II (Ethik)
Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsinformatik, insbesondere Innovation und Wertschöpfung
Professur für Buchwissenschaft, insbesondere E-Publishing und Digitale Märkte

Start date: 01/03/2019
End date: 28/02/2021


Short description (intelligible to all):

Digital technologies trigger an intensifying datafication and enable a growing legibility of individual, social and socio-technical processes. Against this background, questions of access to, ownership and protection of data, that is to say questions of the configuration of data circulations are negotiated—often under the label of a “digital sovereignty”.

“Sovereignty”, the “sovereign state”, the “sovereign subject”and the “sovereign organisation”are fundamental concepts of (European) modernity. However, conceiving sovereignty as a form of absolute self-determination has been criticised by many authors as a normative ideal—a myth. Conversely, positing sovereignty as relational de-essentialises and re-conceptualises sovereignty as social, thusenabling us to analyse negotiations of (potentially competing) claims for sovereignty.

The highly interdisciplinary research group “Discourses and Practices of Digital Sovereignty” aims at (I) an-alysing the debate on “digital sovereignty”, developing a concept of sovereignty as relational,and relating this concept to established disciplinary discussions of the concept of sovereignty. The findings of “What ‘is’digital sovereignty?” serve as an overarching framework to be challenged by a closely knit set of em-pirical studies.In nine empirical research areas (II) new configurations of data circulation are examined (see Fig.).

These studies interact along four research axes: Firstly, we compare how claims to sovereignty are articulated by the actors within the respective areas and to what extent the concept of a relational sovereignty helps to understand these empirical cases. Secondly, several studies analyse to what extent intensifying datafication facilitates increasing legibility of individual, social and socio-technical processes and how these growing data legibilities transform socio-economic and socio-political processes—enabling innovations and threatening established structures. Thirdly, intensifying datafication and increasing legibility are closely related to the areas of conflict between (concepts and practices of) data access,data ownership and data protection. At least four of the nine empirical studies deal with these political economies of data.

Last but not least, intensifying datafication and increasing legibility challenge individual and organisational competencies regarding data. Thus, lastly, five projects will deal with questions of data competencies.


Fig. 1: Research Design


Last updated on 2019-05-04 at 12:32