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Erasmus University Rotterdam

Digital Governance

Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Leeds via Coursera


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Big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous cars, chatbots, just a few terms that have become a part of our professional legal and political vocabulary. Emerging technologies and technological advancement have confronted us in our daily practice and will continue to do so in the future. Whether we’re buying something online, taking part in an election, or chatting with friends across the globe. Technology is here and it is here to stay. However, as convenience as these new technologies may seem, they also have disruptive effects on society and pose us for legal and political challenges. These challenges are central to this MOOC on digital governance. After participating in this MOOC: - You are aware of the impact and effect of emerging technologies on law and politics. - You can identify risks and challenges of digitization in relation to EU law, markets and economics. - You understand the interconnectedness of problems, questions and solutions. - You are able to break down a concrete case of digitalization impact into a sub problem. - You can allocate problems to various fields of science or sub-fields of law. But most importantly, you will have a lot of fun and inspiration following this course, designed by an international community of legal experts in the field of digital governance. Come with us on the journey!


  • Welcome to the MOOC on Digital Governance
    • Welcome to this open online course on Digital Governance, brought to you by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Digital Governance. Centres of Excellence are awarded to outstanding research groups that have a visible societal impact and conduct cutting-edge research on an international scale. Digital Governance (DIGOV) is the name of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence that has been awarded by the European Commission to Erasmus School of Law, in conjunction with the School of Law at the University of Leeds (UK) and the Law School of Bar-Ilan University (Israel). DIGOV organizes topical conferences and workshops, has a visiting scholar program established and will connect stakeholders from society, aiming at a better understanding of, amongst others, how to shape legal designs that integrate Big Data and Artificial Intelligence more solidly into society. An important part of the Centre's activities is the dissemination of its research, which manifests itself in this open online teaching module on Digital Governance. A central focus of the course is to learn about the basic challenges of digital governance related to legal disruption and European policy. The disruptive effect of digital technologies shall be discussed within the context of EU law and politics. Furthermore, the economic growth options for the European economy; the relation between big data and privacy; the opportunities and risks of Artificial Intelligence; product liability of digital products; application of competition law and regulation in digital markets; as well as the ethical and business aspects of digitalization will be discussed.
  • Introduction to Law in the Digital Age
    • In this first module we will begin to explore the relationships between the digital age and law with Dr. Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov. We will discuss the role of law in the digital age, the influence of big data on law and the legal practice. And of course the effects of data science on legal studies and research. The module contains a few videos, some readings and a few discussion prompts. We encourage you to engage with your fellow learners by actively taking part in the discussion. Remember there is no 'right or wrong' answers, the discussion prompt is to share different insights and perspectives on the topics.
  • E-Democracy
    • In this module we introduce the concept of e-democracy and see how the digital space opens new avenues for democratic deliberation, lowering barriers for participation, realizing the vision of transparency. We will also discuss some pitfalls and challenges related to e-democracy and look into the future. Our expert, professor Oren Perez, will offer some interesting insights and share some of his research outcomes. The module contains a few videos, some readings, a few discussion prompts and some quiz questions. We encourage you to engage with your fellow learners by actively taking part of the discussion in the discussion prompt. Remember there is no 'right or wrong' answers, the discussion prompt is to share different insights and perspectives on the topics. For the quizzes, pay attention to what is being said in the videos and read the papers in the module for in depth knowledge.
  • Automation of Government Administration
    • In this module you will gain knowledge of digitalization in the public domain and will develop insight into the governance risks, especially for the rule of law. Attention is given to decision-making systems, surveillance systems and to the shortcomings of the incumbent legal mechanisms to afford real protection against harm and malpractice by authorities. This leads to a further confrontation with the disruptive effects of new technologies on current legal frameworks. This module contains three discussion prompts. In these prompts you are requested to share your insights and views on this complex topic. By replying to the prompts, you and peers will be able to learn from each other and exchange knowledge gained through the readings and videos. We are also welcoming your input regarding your national context, so we can truly broaden our horizon and paint a global picture on e-government
  • Online Courts
    • This module focuses on a fairly recent development: going to court online. While courts have been quite hesitant and maybe even resistant to change, in recent years it has become clear that the traditional court model is not working well for all courts and for all users. Courts are overburdened with cases, and many people are limited in exercising their right to go to court. Against this backdrop, there are calls for rethinking how courts might redesign their procedures and leverage technology to help lay people claim and defend their rights. Together with our expert dr. Ayelet Sela we will explore the motivations and innovations of online courts, focusing on how online courts enhance access to justice.
  • Competition and Regulation in Digital Markets
    • In this module, you will develop an understanding of how competition and regulation in digital markets have a role to play in ensuring that these markets deliver the best outcomes for all participants in the digital economy including consumers and businesses. At the end of the module, you will have a grasp of the basic concepts of competition and regulation in digital markets and when it may be necessary for authorities to intervene in such markets to ensure that they remain competitive. The module will also allow you to build a deeper understanding of the common features of digital markets with online platforms, features of multi-sided platform markets, and the fundamental principles of competition law and regulation. The module will also allow you to take a closer look at some examples of competition law interventions against practices of big technology companies such as Google and Amazon, and at regulations from around the world regarding different business practices of big technology companies.
  • Ownership of Data
    • In this module you will learn about the role of property rights for a fair and efficient use of data. The allocation of property rights on data determine to a large degree who is allowed to do what with data and to whom the benefits of data use accrue. Thereby the design of ownership can range from pure public ownership to pure private ownership. In many real world situations only a very specific legal design and allocation of data ownership will incentivise individuals to align their actions with social goals.
  • Peer Review: Facebook and the German Competition Authority
    • This module consists of the final assessment of this course. You will have to apply the knowledge and insights you gained to a specific Digital Governance case regarding Facebook. We will put you in the role of an advisor to the Prime Minisiter of your country who is struggling with the competition problems Facebook’s digital business model creates. You will advise your Prime Minister with a report that consists of a useful design of data ownership rights that helps to maintain competition in the market for social networks on the one hand and to preserve data privacy of users on the other.

Taught by

Klaus Heine, Oren Perez, Ittai Bar-Siman-Tov, Pinar Akman, Ayelet Sela, Evert Stamhuis, Farshida Zafar, Marianne Breijer and Konstantinos Stylianou


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 97 ratings

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