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Visiting Fellow Lisa Reutter Researches the Datafication of the Welfare State

We were happy to welcome Visiting Fellow Lisa Reutter to the Lab in January and February. Lisa is a PhD fellow at the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She researches the datafication of public administration with a special focus on how data driven technology alters the welfare state.

Lisa spent two months at the Data Justice lab working on her policy analysis of Norwegian datafication policy and the various conceptual logics employed. Her research is located at the intersection between the fields of public administration, sociology and science and technology studies.

As part of her stay with us, she gave a talk on “The Norwegian Data Rush: A Brief Introduction to the Datafication of Public Administration in the Nordics”. The presentation provided staff and students of Cardiff University with a unique empirical insight into the inner workings of public administration datafication in Norway. It drew on fieldwork in the Norwegian Tax Administration and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration and a general mapping of datafication efforts across the public sector.

As Lisa explained: “My research project aims to unpack the social, political, and material aspects of datafication in Norway and directs its analytical attention away from the hype of big data and artificial intelligence and towards mundane work processes, people and organizations that are bringing this process into being. To understand how datafication affects and configurates the welfare state, we must understand how it is made, who produces it, what decisions are taken, who benefits and what conceptual logics this socio-technical imaginary is based on.”

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