IViR Lecture Series: Informational Capitalism, Digital Infrastructures, and Information Society Governance

IViR is pleased to announce that
Prof. Julie Cohen
will give a lecture entitled
Informational Capitalism, Digital Infrastructures, and Information Society Governance
on Friday 21 April 2023

In capitalist political economies, the emergence of informational and informationally mediated modes of development has produced large scale shifts toward identification and extraction of intangible resources, datafication of inputs to economic production, and platformization as the dominant underlying logic of economic organization. It has also manifested in the identification of people—or, more specifically, populations, and data gathered from and about populations—as a new major input to production, and in the emergence of new, data-extractive strategies and practices targeting populations, or surveillance capitalism. In particular, the extractive strategies of informational and surveillance capitalism have been brought to bear on a group of core resources that have long been thought inappropriate targets for commodification—land, labor, and money, and now also populations—in ways that attempt systematically to isolate, enhance, refine, and perfect their commodity characteristics. Those strategies, which operate by entangling participants in durable, materially-mediated, assortative arrangements, now pose important challenges for theories of information society governance. Such theories must account for three problematics: the effective power of infrastructures for datafied, extractive ordering to reorder economies and rewire polities; the vast and overlapping scales at which such infrastructures facilitate exchange and communication; and the rise of new modes of data-driven legibility, transparency, and opacity that both reveal and conceal the operation of digital power.

Julie E. Cohen is the Mark Claster Mamolen Professor of Law and Technology and a faculty co-director of the Institute for Technology Law and Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center. During spring term 2023, she is serving as the co-director of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London. She teaches and writes about surveillance, privacy and data protection, intellectual property, information platforms, and the ways that networked information and communication technologies are reshaping legal institutions. She is the author of Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2019); Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code and the Play of Everyday Practice (Yale University Press, 2012); and numerous journal articles and book chapters. Professor Cohen is a member of the Advisory Board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Date: 21 April 2023
Time: 16.00 – 17.30 CET (Amsterdam)
– IViR Room, 5.24, REC A, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam.
– Online via Zoom (you will receive the Zoomlink via e-mail on the morning of the lecture).

See also the flyer.