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Regulating Technology


Module description

This module engages with the practical and conceptual problems that arise when seeking to regulate new technology. By examining a range of policy, governance and regulatory instruments and approaches, we practically and critically engage with the academic and policy questions that are currently playing out over the law’s role in governing technology, assessing how they work in the normative, political, economic and practical registers. This module takes a broad overview of the key themes and theories required to gain a practical understanding of the technological problems presented to the law. Some of the key themes are developed in greater detail in the option modules, making this module an important platform on which you will build specialist knowledge.

Indicative module syllabus

  • The policy context for innovation and technology
  • Technology regulation and governance
  • Risk assessment and risk regulation
  • Precaution or innovation?
  • Whose views count?
  • See-through regulation
  • Intellectual property and patents
  • Cyber regulation
  • New tech: old law
  • Lose the law: upstream innovation governance

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand and evaluate complex approaches to governing technological innovation and its implications
  • apply theoretical knowledge to different technologies and frameworks for tackling their impacts on society in new and hypothetical scenarios
  • critically engage with the policy context surrounding efforts to promote and/or control technological innovation
  • draw on literature from across the social sciences, law [and humanities] to develop a holistic, autonomous and interdisciplinary understanding of governing technological innovation.