In this presentation, I want to explore digital governance as a new form of governance that aims to govern effects based on correlations. I will argue that this form of correlational governance is a dramatically different form of governance that produces knowledge differently, that hides the political and ethical, and that acts to displace or defer problems deemed unsolvable in some form. I will illustrate this mode of governance, and its performativity, by reviewing my work on governing academic writing through plagiarism detection systems and also consider the way machine learning is being deployed to govern a variety of problems such as recruitment and policing. In each case, I will attempt to show what digital governance does, performatively, and why I believe it is necessary for society to be critical of these practices. I will conclude with some questions about how we might respond to these digital governing practices, individually and collectively.
Lucas is professor of organisation, technology, and ethics at Lancaster University. His research interest is the entanglement of the social and the technical, especially with regard to the ethics and politics implicated in such entanglements. He is co-editor of Ethics and Information Technology. He has published on a variety of topics such as sociomateriality (Organisation Studies, Information and Organisation), algorithms (Theory, Culture & Society; Science, Technology & Human Values), governmentality (Organisation Studies), ethics (Theory, Culture & Society), philosophy of technology (Philosophy in the Contemporary World), information and power (Management, Information & Power, Palgrave 1997), privacy (Journal of Business Ethics) and surveillance (Surveillance & Society). He teaches courses in ethics, technology studies, reflective practice, and organisational change management.