Sebastian Berg studied political science and public law at Trier University. In his master thesis “Entendre des voix. Desidentifizierung und das Vernehmen der Gemeinschaft aus demokratietheoretischer Perspektive”, he reconstructed the term “desidentification” in the work of Jacques Rancière, to explore systematically the relationship of aesthetics and politics in the author’s emancipatory claim of participation.
Sebastian is interested in the epistemic foundations of democratic norms and concepts, their genealogy and how they change through social practices and technological affordances. He has a special interest in the understanding of political agency and the democratic claim to contingency under the circumstances of digitalization. At the Weizenbaum Institute, he focuses on how new forms of digital ordering are established through data politics, how institutions adapt, and how the rationality of democratic governance changes.
Research Group 12: Democracy and Digitalisation
Doctoral project (Supervision: Prof. Dr. Christian Volk, Free University Berlin): Past and present of political datafication in the context of democratic representation (working title)
The project inquires the implications of data-based mediation and analysis techniques for the understanding of political representation. In the field of politics, the transforming effect attributed to digitalization is perceived in particular in the datafication of election campaigns, data-driven analyses of constituencies, or political communication via digital platforms. On the basis of a reconstruction of the US-American debate and its genealogy, the study argues that this effect neither results from a genuine logic of digital technology, nor is it simply to be understood a form of digital domination. Rather, it has to be perceived as a matter of a changeable and contradictory appropriation in the field of politics. The political-theoretical study aims to show how political and technical elites justify the appropriation and application of this technique, to which conditions – such as the crisis of democratic representation – they react, and which ideas and understandings of democracy or representation compete for interpretive sovereignty.
2018 (with Ann-Kathrin Koster): „Materielle Grenzziehungen der Demokratie – ein Tagungsbericht als Spurensuche“, on theorieblog.de.
2018: „Politisches Gestalten als Herausforderung der Digitalisierung“, in: Stalder, Wolfgang (Hrsg.): Mehr als Algorithmen? Digitalisierung in Gesellschaft und Sozialer Arbeit, Weinheim/Basel: Beltz Juventa, S. 40-48.
2018 (with Florian Eyert): „Ein neues Recht für die digitale Gesellschaft? Tagungsbericht ‚Künstliche Intelligenz und Demokratie‘ (Trier)“, on theorieblog.de.
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