Data has become a social and political issue because of its capacity to reconfigure relationships between states, subjects, and citizens. This book explores how data has acquired such an important capacity and examines how critical interventions in its uses in both theory and practice are possible.

Data and politics are now inseparable: data is not only shaping our social relations, preferences and life chances but our very democracies. Expert international contributors consider political questions about data and the ways it provokes subjects to govern themselves by making rights claims. Concerned with the things (infrastructures of servers, devices, and cables) and language (code, programming, and algorithms) that make up cyberspace, this book demonstrates that without understanding these conditions of possibility it is impossible to intervene in or to shape data politics.

Aimed at academics and postgraduate students interested in political aspects of data, this volume will also be of interest to experts in the fields of internet studies, international studies, Big Data, digital social sciences and humanities. The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.routledge.com/Data-Politics-Worlds-Subjects-Rights/Bigo-Isin-Ruppert/p/book/9781138053267, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

chapter 1|17 pages

Data politics 1

ByDidier Bigo, Engin Isin, Evelyn Ruppert
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part I|59 pages

Conditions of possibility of data politics

chapter 2|22 pages

Knowledge infrastructures under siege

Climate data as memory, truce, and target
ByPaul N. Edwards
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chapter 3|21 pages

Against infrasomatization

Towards a critical theory of algorithms
ByDavid M. Berry
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part II|86 pages


chapter 5|19 pages

Mutual entanglement and complex sovereignty in cyberspace

ByRonald J. Deibert, Louis W. Pauly
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chapter 6|23 pages

Digital data and the transnational intelligence space

ByDidier Bigo, Laurent Bonelli
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chapter 7|22 pages

From fake to junk news

The data politics of online virality
ByTommaso Venturini
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chapter 8|20 pages

Seeing like Big Tech

Security assemblages, technology, and the future of state bureaucracy
ByFélix Tréguer
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part III|63 pages


chapter 9|20 pages

Towards data justice

Bridging anti-surveillance and social justice activism 1
ByLina Dencik, Arne Hintz, Jonathan Cable
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chapter 10|20 pages

Theses on automation and labour

ByBrett Neilson, Ned Rossiter
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chapter 11|21 pages

Data’s empire

Postcolonial data politics
ByEngin Isin, Evelyn Ruppert
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part IV|56 pages


chapter 12|17 pages

The right to data oblivion

ByGiovanni Ziccardi
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chapter 13|19 pages

Data citizens

How to reinvent rights
ByJennifer Gabrys
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chapter 14|18 pages

Data rights

Claiming privacy rights through international institutions
ByElspeth Guild
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