Citizenship & Democracy

The information revolution has served to inform citizens but has opened wide avenues for misinformation as well, fuelling mistrust and polarisation. With the legitimacy of national and international systems of government being questioned, we can reinvigorate institutions that are vital for democratic compromise, economic prosperity and the rule of law. Digital connectivity can be used to reduce social exclusion and to advance social cohesion and create productive mixtures of national, cultural, and religious identities. These and related societal challenges are addressed in programme line Citizenship & Democracy.

Academics that are working on finding solutions to societal challenges related to Citizenship & Democracy:

Expertise

Marcel Broersma is full professor of Journalism Studies and Media at the University of Groningen. He is head of the Journalism department and director of the Centre for Media and Journalism Studies. His research interests focus on the transformation of journalism, the innovation and diffusion of forms and styles of journalism, on political communication, and on local and regional journalism. He has published widely on both the history and current development of journalism in the Netherlands and comparatively.

Expertise

As Professor of political communication, de Vreese is interested in how media and information enable citizens to participate in democratic processes. These opportunities are changing and processes of digitisation change the nature of this. Together with Natali Helberger they lead a large project on the nature and consequences of personalised communication (personalised-communication.net) as a key example of how digitisation can affect media and citizens in a democracy. De Vreese is also the Director of the Digital Communication Methods Lab in which we integrate novel approaches to studying the role of media and communication in a digital world.

Expertise

Natali Helberger has been appointed professor of Information Law, with a special focus on the use of information, at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Law. Helberger researches how the role of the user of information is changing under the influence of information technology, and social and economic conditions. She also examines the resulting implications for the legal position, rights and obligations of information users under current and future media and communications law, consumer law and data protection law. Helberger’s research features a strong interdisciplinary component: in order to assess whether and how information law ties in with the reality of information users and information markets, she regularly works with communication scientists, social scientists, psychologists as well as cultural scientists and economists.

Expertise

The expertise of Wilthagen relates to labour markets, labour market and employment policy, labour relatiions, labour law and social security: national, international as well as regional. Wilthagen is specifically interested in the relationship between on the one hand labour market dynamism and flexibilization and social cohesion, inclusion, protection and (new) securities on the other. Is a labour market that is both dynamic and inclusive possible at all? What are sustainable labour market policies? One of the key concepts that I developed from this perspective is “flexicurity”. Regarding dynamisim, Wilthagen also has an interest in how new technologies, such as robotization, influence the labour market and work. Besides research and education (among other things in the Master Labour Law and Employment Relations and the Research Master in Law Tilburg/Leuven) he is strongly engaged in generating societal impact from knowledge and science, as co-leader of the Impact Programme of Tilburg University.

Expertise

Franciska de Jong is full professor of e-Research for the Humanties and executive director of CLARIN ERIC, the governing body of CLARIN which has its statutory seat at Utrecht University. CLARIN (Common LAnguage Resources and Technology INfrastructure) has the objective is to provide scholars in the humanities and social sciences seamless access to digital language data and processing tools all across Europe. Currently, her main research interest is in the field of access technology for digital libraries, text mining, cross-language retrieval, the disclosure of cultural heritage collections (in particular spoken audio archives), and e-research at large.

Examples

Report: Automated Decision-Making Fairness in an AI-driven World

Ongoing advances in artificial intelligence are increasingly part of scientific efforts as well as the public debate and the media agenda, raising hopes and concerns about the impact of automated decision-making across different sectors of our society. This report contributes to informing the public debate, providing the results of a survey with 958 participants recruited from high-quality sample of the Dutch population. The report present an overview of public knowledge, perceptions, hopes and concerns about the adoption of AI and ADM across different societal sectors in the Netherlands.
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Analyzing the ‘life’ of newspapers with Machine Learning

Marcel Broersma is Principal Investigator of the collaborative research project NEWSGAC which studies how genres in newspapers and television news can be detected automatically using Machine Learning technology. The project brings together expertise from journalism history scholars, specialists in data modelling, integration and analysis, digital collection experts and eScience Research Engineers.
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The Misinformation Crisis

On The Open Mind, University of Amsterdam political communications chair Claes de Vreese discusses global populism and the post-truth present. “We live in an era of information-polution; there is a lot of information out there but it’s very hard to verify all of it in a quick manner.”
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