Digital Citizenship and Digitalization of the Public Sector

We invite master students form MIS, MSA, MBV and MFB to write master thesis for CEDIC

Centre for (the study of) digitization (of public services) and citizenship

We are looking for master students who are interested in studying digital citizenship and digitalization of the public sector. The students will participate in ongoing research examine how processes of digitization influence both the provision of welfare state services, and the ability for persons in vulnerable positions to access, use and benefit from these services. The core issue is how digitization modifies the capabilities of different social groups and individuals to exercise full and effective citizenship.

Background

The welfare state is undergoing an unprecedented structural transformation with increasing digitization of public services. The impacts of this digitization and the effects of this transformation on populations in vulnerable positions is largely unknown. Digitization can relocate life chances in asymmetrical ways, raising questions about issues such as access, de-humanization, effectiveness, equity, service provision and precision. While scholars in the social sciences have addressed various consequences of the digitization of the labour market, less attention has been given to effects of the digitization of public welfare services. CEDIC will address this gap in the literature in innovative ways and contribute new theories by combining insights from the social sciences, law, humanities and technology.  Typically, digitization of public sector services is conceived as a technological problem. CEDIC will change the focus to law, policies, and practices that shape the design, implementation and take-up of digitized services by the end users. While most research addressing digitization focuses on health services or the use of ICT in education, CEDIC addresses digitization of social services and the consequences for the claimants, beneficiaries, and target groups of social services. 

Topics for research

The students are invited to address research questions among overall issues such as:

  • to examine policy measures aimed to ensure that digitization of public welfare services foster the exercise of full and effective social citizenship
  • to investigate ethical, legal and human rights issues as they pertain to digitized public welfare services   
  • to trace innovation processes in public welfare services and probe how different stakeholders negotiate the reconfiguration of the welfare state
  • to explore how digitization affects the everyday life of persons in vulnerable positions (in welfare institutions e.g. nursing homes, child welfare institutions, schools and kindergartens)
  • Explore the use of avatars in child welfare and social work

Application processes

Students are encouraged to find their own issues and research questions within the topics outlined here. Applications of approx. 1 page is welcome. These applications must be sent to the contact persons (see below) by 15 March. The applications that are granted will receive specific feedback, so that a further developed project sketch / work requirements for the kick-off seminar can be prepared.

Number of master students that can be recruited for the project are maximum 10 students. Supervision will take place individually and in groups. The students are also welcome to all CEDIC’s seminars.

The students will be supervised either by Professor Rune Halvorsen, Professor Marit Haldar, Professor Cecilie Basberg Neumann, Professor Elisabeth Gording-Stang, Associate Professor Julia Khöhler-Olsen, Associate Professor Gunn-Astrid Baugerud, Associate Professor Eirik Gundersen, postdoctor Erik Børve Rasmussen or postdoctor Lars E. Johannessen.

Contact persons:

Rune Halvorsen: runeh@oslomet.no

Marit Haldar: mariha@oslomet.no

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