Shifts in Norm Setting

Research Group 16

The aim of the research group is to analyze, structure and classify the normative foundation of the networked society as well as current shifting processes in a disciplinary and interdisciplinary way.

The starting point for the research group is the shift of regulatory competence from nation-states to supranational and private actors triggered by digitization. The dimensions of this transformation – social norms, formal law, technical standards – will be examined from a legal and sociological perspective. Of particular interest are the interdependencies of these areas, which have a high potential for explanation. 

Social norms, conventions and the structure of the social are both a prerequisite for and an object of digitalization. Objects of research here include the effects of digital transformation on industrial and cultural production. Questions of (intellectual) property, originality and quality are of particular interest, especially at the interface between the material and the immaterial.

Formal law is subject to changes in various ways through networking, automation and digitization. Human decision-making processes are increasingly computerized and technologized. The result of an increase in the ability of digital agents to act on legal transactions will be discussed. The effects of modern, partially automated communication possibilities on democratic decision-making under the influence of the digital dimension of basic rights will also be investigated.

Interdisciplinary research projects of the group also concentrate within the above-mentioned areas of conflict. For example, a discourse analysis is used to examine and classify the legal debate on the EU copyright reform. In another project, the expansion of the corporate sphere of responsibility and the scope of voluntary self-commitments in the digital world will be analyzed. In addition, the criticality of self-learning systems and the associated alternatives to legal standard setting will be discussed and evaluated.

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