CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - Vol. 4 (2024), N.1 (SURVEILLANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE)

2023-05-08

For the first issue of the Volume 4 (2024), Athena is committed to search pieces of research devoted to surveillance and human rights in the digital age, by critically analysing this practice in its various forms, and by taking into account its impact: 

  • on the way democracy structures political life, as well as
  • on social relations and
  • on the way people view their identity as citizens as they grapple with the transition toward digital citizenship, forcing them to remake themselves into digital citizens or be left out of the democratic process.

In one of the leading texts dealing with this topic, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff describes the current digital system as the underpinning of a new economic order that exploits human experience in the form of data—a new form of power that exerts its dominance on society, challenging democracy and putting our freedoms at risk.

This is a vertical kind of control enabled by digital surveillance today. But there is also a horizontal dimension to this technology, which, through the media, reshapes our modes of thinking and reasoning by creating social groups that coalesce around their members’ adherence to specific ideas or trends. These groups—often fleeting alliances—engage in mutual, and even in-group, surveillance, and they each feed on their own narrative, becoming their own echo chambers: the overall effect is a polarized society that makes any reasonable debate difficult if not impossible.

A further effect of this polarization that could be addressed in this issue is the induced need that members within each group constantly feel to digitally showcase themselves: this constant pressure can affect the participants’ very sense of identity in peculiarly unwholesome ways, as seems to be already happening according to several studies looking at Gen-Zers.

Below is a list (by no means definitive or comprehensive) of some of the possible and suggested subtopics the issue is interested in tackling:

– human rights in the digital age

– social media and its effects on social relations;

– democracy and public debate in the digital age;

– digital surveillance and personal identity;

– radical behaviour and the media;

– algorithms and popularity, authority, and reputational rankings;

– algorithmic discrimination;

– algorithms and social epistemology;

– digital surveillance and privacy.

These and other related topics can be addressed on a multidisciplinary approach and from different disciplinary perspectives, such as philosophy, sociology, law, political science, ethics, political philosophy, and economics.

Athena is pleased to invite scholars and researchers to send abstracts of no more than 1,800 characters for a previous evaluation by the Editorial Board in order to find the best proposals which may be considered for the double blind peer-review process, by following the steps, below:

Submission of the proposal (title and abstract) to alberto.artosi@unibo.it and annalisa.verza@unibo.it (with athena@unibo.it and luigi.sammartino2@unibo.it in cc) by June 30th, 2023.

The Journal will notify to authors the accepted proposal who will have submitted the whole manuscript by August 30th, 2023 for the double blind peer-review process. 

The deadline for the submission of the final version will be November 15th, 2023.

The issue will be published in the first quarter of 2024.

 

If you could circulate or publicize this call, that would be very much appreciated.