Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tetyana Lokot

Dublin City University

Dummy

Negotiating Networked Citizenship in Authoritarian Regimes

The key aim of this research project is to explore the growing connection between citizenship, human rights, and digital rights evident in the emergence of the new concept of „networked citizenship“. Grounded in the pervasive datafication and digitisation of everyday life, it offers the promise of empowering citizens to „practice“ citizenship in new, seamless and creative ways. Yet in authoritarian regimes, which increasingly rely on sophisticated technological tools and digital systems to preserve legitimacy, networked citizenship can also come to mean state capture of citizen data, surveillance of citizens, and greater control over people’s digital and material identities. Using the case of Russia, the project aims to trace key dynamics, affordances and forces shaping how relevant actors (state bodies, corporations, rights advocates and citizens) negotiate and co-construct networked citizenship in authoritarian regimes. The project will entail a multi-modal analysis of existing policy and legislative documents, existing digital governance initiatives, relevant scholarly and public opinion data, digital rights campaigns, and social media discourses to capture the interplay of competing and overlapping interpretations of networked citizenship by the regime and other actors. While this project explores the particular context of Russia as an increasingly networked authoritarian state, the expected findings and conceptual development will contribute to theorising about networked citizenship more broadly and will have relevance for other authoritarian contexts as well.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tetyana Lokot

Dublin City University

Fellow at CAIS from January to March 2023