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Digital Politics


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Dr Laszlo Horvath
  • Assessment: class forum questions (10%), peer feedback (10%), a case study presentation (30%) and 2000-word case study (50%)

Module description

How do digital technologies impact politics and policy-making? In this module we explore the significant research conducted in recent years and equip you with skills necessary to critically evaluate the role digital tools play in shaping political participation, policy formation and the provision of public services. 

Throughout the module, you will engage with a diverse range of literature spanning democratic theory, public opinion and political communication, public policy, human-computer interaction, as well as critical perspectives on race, gender and capitalism.

The module provides a good foundation for careers or further study in fields such as political communication and campaign strategy, digital governance, as well as advocacy or activism at the intersection of technology and politics.

Indicative syllabus

  • Models of democracy and the role of technology
  • Participatory tools
  • Citizen information tools from voting advice to monitoring parliaments
  • Artificial intelligence in the delivery of public services
  • Covid tech: what we learned from digital contact tracing
  • Race, colonialism and technology
  • Capitalism and technology
  • Protest and technology

Learning objectives

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

  • recognise the benefits and risks associated with a range of digital technologies in governance and politics
  • demonstrate a good understanding of issues relating to digital vulnerabilities and apply these concepts on new tech applications
  • design simple tools that could, if applied, engage citizens in policy-making
  • develop original arguments relying on synthesis of core and further literature
  • confidently read empirical papers that evaluate the efficacy of digital tools.