Politics in Digital Society


The Course aims to provide Masters’ students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a reflective and critical analysis of the implications of digital technologies in areas of political bearing, such as communication, decision-making processes, social policies and forms of collective organization.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Davide Scarso, Jaume Valentines-Álvarez


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Bucher, Taina. 2018. If ... Then: Algorithmic Power and Politics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Castells, Manuel. 2012. Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge: Polity.

Farrell, Henry, and Abraham Newman. Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hoffman, John, and Paul Graham. 2015. Introduction to Political Theory. London and New York: Routledge.

Jenkins, Henry, Mizuko Itō, and Danah Boyd. 2015. Participatory Culture in a Networked Era. Cambridge: Polity.

Pasquinelli, Matteo. 2008. Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons. NAi Publishers.

Srnicek, Nick. 2017. Platform Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity.

Tufekci, Zeynep. 2017. Twitter and Tear Gas. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Wajcman, Judy. 2006. Technofeminism. Malden, Polity Press.

Teaching method

Teaching methodologies are varied and include oral exposure, analysis and discussion of texts and video materials, case studies, autonomous research.

Evaluation method

Assessment will be based on a presentation and oral discussion concerning one of the contents of the program, the composition of a written text and participation in classroom debates.

Subject matter

1.    Introduction - Opening the black box

2.    Power and democracy at the time of algorithms

a.    Privacy and surveillance
b.    Profiling, advertising and political representation
c.    Technocracy, experts and decision making

3.    The political economy of digital technologies

a.    Silicon Valley ideology, cyberlibertarianism and techno-optimism
b.    Platform capitalism and the uberization of work
c.    Dematerialization and the material bases of digital society

4.    Algorithmic governance and resistance

a.    Digital citizenship and forms of online political organization
b.    Criticism of digital bias: nation, class, gender, race
c.    Digital activism: hacker culture, open source and self-organization

5.    Governing Algorithms?


Programs where the course is taught: