DATA POWER: global in/securities

Questions, Research Perspectives, Topics


About the conference

“DATA POWER: global in/securities” follows two successful international conferences in the UK (University of Sheffield) and Canada (University of Carleton). The conference focuses on critical questions about data’s power, reflecting on the social and cultural consequences of data becoming increasingly pervasive in our lives. With its critical approach towards datafication in relation to power in a wide variety of areas, the conference will focus on dialogues between Global North and Global South perspectives. Current issues of the ever more ubiquitous power of digital data manifest themselves in societies and cultures all over the world that are increasingly mediatized which means a growing interdependence of individuals, collectivities and organisations with digital communication media. 

With increasingly globalized digital infrastructures and a global digital political economy, we face new concentrations of power, leading to new inequalities and insecurities with respect to data ownership, data geographies and different forms of data-related practices. It is not only a concentration of power by a few corporations, but also a concentration of the availability of data on individual regions of the world. This includes (exerting) power about data (infra)structures and processes of data creation, data collection, data access, data processing, data interpretation, data storing, data visualisations.

Therefore, the global “DATA POWER” conference will bring together scholars from the Global South and the Global North in order to jointly address pressing questions around these phenomena:

  • How does data power further or contest global in/securities?
  • How are global in/securities constructed through or against data?
  • How do civil society actors, government, people engage with societal and individual in/securities through and with data?
  • What are appropriate ontologies to think about data and persons?
  • How may we envisage a just data society?
  • What does decolonizing data in/securities may look like?

This conference will create a space to reflect on these and other critical issues relating to data’s in/security and its decolonizing. Papers and panels will focus on the following topics:

  • Big data and humanitarianism
  • Big/open data, corruption and public debt
  • ‘Good’ data, data justice and well-being
  • Critical, theoretical and feminist approaches to data in/securities
  • Data activism, citizen engagement, indigenous data sovereignty
  • Data journalism and rhetorics of data visualization in a global perspective
  • Data-driven governance and open data
  • Securitization and militarization of data infrastructures
  • Data, discrimination and inequality
  • Emerging in/securities through algorithms and automated decisionmaking
  • Forensic data, human rights and refugees
  • Decolonizing data in/securities and data labour
  • Machine learning, developmentalism and human security


Thus, the conference will be a focal point of the global research-led discussion about critical questions on data’s power which is questioned critically and reflectively with regards to the social and cultural consequences of the rise of data’s power for the Global North and the Global South.


Organizing Committee

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), andreas.heppprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter (ZeMKI, University of Bremen),abreiterprotect me ?!ifibprotect me ?!.de

Dr. Juliane Jarke (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), jarkeprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Dr. Leif Kramp (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), krampprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Tracey P. Lauriault  & Merlyna Lim (Carleton University, Canada)

Helen Kennedy, Jo Bates & Ysabel Gerrard (University of Sheffield, UK)

Monika Halkort (Lebanese American University, Lebanon)


The program can be found here. 

Book of Abstracts can be downloaded here