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Datafication and the Welfare State: A Special Collection

Guest Editors:

Lina Dencik, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University, UK

Anne Kaun, Media and Communication Studies, Södertörn University, Sweden

INTRODUCTION: Both vehemently protected and attacked in equal measure, the welfare state as an idea and as a policy agenda remains as relevant as ever. It refers not only to a program of social welfare and the provision of social services, but also to a model of the state and the economy. According to Offe (1984), the welfare state in advanced capitalist economies is a formula that consists of the explicit obligation of the state apparatus to provide assistance and support to those citizens who suffer from specific needs and risks characteristic of the market society, and it is based on a recognition of the formal role of labor unions in both collective bargaining and the formation of public policy. Although actively dismantled in recent decades as globalization and neoliberalism have taken hold of much of the modern world-system, its future continues to be fought over. It serves as a model for society that is seen to privilege a commitment to decommodification, universal access, and social solidarity as a way to overcome the most prominent contradictions of capitalism. A product of the twinned global crises of the Great Depression and the Second World War, the modern welfare state therefore encapsulates a moment of political and economic settlement, a mechanism of stabilization that arguably could emerge only out of such crises. Read more...


Datafication and the Welfare State

Lina Dencik & Anne Kaun

Algorithmic Long-Term Unemployment Risk Assessment in Use: Counselors’ Perceptions and Use Practices

Leid Zejnilović, Susana Lavado, Íñigo Martínez de Rituerto de Troya, Samantha Sim & Andrew Bell

Developing a Digital Welfare State: Data Protection and the Use of Automated Decision-Making in the Public Sector across Six EU Countries

Marta Choroszewicz & Beata Mäihäniemi

Software-Sorted Exclusion of Asylum Seekers in Norway and Finland

Funda Ustek-Spilda & Marja Alastalo

Technological Politics of Automated Welfare Surveillance: Social (and Data) Justice through Critical Qualitative Inquiry

Monique Mann

Welfare State Values and Public Service Media in the Era of Datafication

Kaarina Nikunen & Jenni Hokka

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