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Digital Technologies and Governance (DTG)

Digital technologies have transformed our lives,  relationships and society in all its dimensions. On the one hand, technological innovations benefit us in many different ways, such as increasing our productive capacity, making our lives more convenient, and unlocking our potential as human beings. Today, even people living in the most remote places can access information, entertainment, and services; sell local products; and share their lives and experience with others through computers and mobile phones. On the other hand, the digital revolution has a dark side, ranging from information inequality, digital exploitation, privacy infringement and surveillance, to social media addiction, “filter bubble” and disinformation. These challenges raise governance and regulation issues with them.

We examine the impact of digital technologies (both positive and negative) on society, as well as relevant governance issues. Major research areas include:

  • governance of digital media platforms
  • rules and framework of consumer protection regarding digitization
  • geopolitical tensions around digital technologies
  • evaluation of the impact of digital technologies on society
Research approaches 

Multidisciplinary   To bring together experts and researchers from different disciplines, such as media and communication, telecommunication, law, and politics.

Policy-oriented   Our research will be oriented towards practical and policy issues.

Global focus   Our research goes beyond Western contexts and US-based technology giants to include other national contexts, especially China, which has a vibrant and innovative internet industry.

Research projects

Digital media platforms

social media, faces, photo album

This project originated from the programme in Platforms, Governance and Global Society (PGG), based at Wolfson College, Oxford University. It focuses on the impact of digital media platforms (social media and other content aggregating platforms) on society and the resulting governance issues. A current research project is to compare the underlining principles behind platform content governance between the US and China.

Technology for social good

We have seen a “techlash” in recent years and rising concerns about the dark side of digital technologies. This project focuses on the bright side: how to make use of digital technologies to better the world, such as reducing poverty and inequality and increasing the voices and opportunities of all sectors of society, especially the under-privileged. We intend to develop partnership with technology companies to conduct research in this area.

Digitisation and consumer protection

This project examines the possible impacts of digitisation on consumers and citizens, and how legal and regulatory frameworks (such as competition law and consumer protection law) need to adapt to address this. A particular focus is on how to achieve an appropriate policy balance that harnesses all the benefits of digitisation for consumers and citizens while mitigating and protecting them from new areas of risk and exploitation.

Our team

Robin Mansell

Robin Mansell

Fellow & Editorial Board member

OXGS deputy director Jufang Wang

Jufang Wang

Deputy Director

Claire Milne

Claire Milne

Senior Advisor

Dr Pu Yan

Pu Yan

Associate Fellow