Policy visions of big data

Author(s)
Laura C. Mahrenbach, Katja Mayer, Jürgen Pfeffer
Abstract

Government intentions stand at the heart of debates about how big data can and should be used in the Global South. This paper provides new insights by examining the political and economic visions promoted by emerging power governments in Brazil, India and China (the BICs). Doing so is crucial as these countries not only comprise some of the world’s largest populations, but have also demonstrated their initiative in national and international promotion of big data politics. Drawing on a content analysis of strategic and legal documents discussing the use of big data, we identify potential areas for big data cooperation among the BICs by determining the compatibility of national policy visions. Three visions are apparent: data as a force for political liberation or repression, for improving public services and for facilitating development. Successful BIC cooperation is likely related to the latter two, but less probable for the liberation/repression vision. We conclude by identifying the implications of BIC engagement with big data for the Global South more broadly.

Organisation(s)
Department of Science and Technology Studies
External organisation(s)
Technische Universität München
Journal
Third World Quarterly
Volume
39
Pages
1861-1882
No. of pages
22
ISSN
0143-6597
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2018.1509700
Publication date
10-2018
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
Social studies of science, Sociology of technology, E-government, Science and technology policy
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/policy-visions-of-big-data(a1523d9a-44c2-425a-824a-48e07710dd66).html