Content of the course
Technological developments have an undisputed impact on the human condition. Their influence on individual and social life cannot easily be overestimated. Currently, some global trends in technological development are expected to profoundly transform elementary dimensions of individual and societal life and action, thereby challenging traditional and more or less "settled" normative outlooks and regulatory arrangements.
This course provides the students with information about these trends and provides a theoretical and practical background in law, regulatory theory, philosophy, Science & Technology Studies (STS) to help understand the regulatory challenges that technology produces.
The course consists of more theory-based lectures and lectures that focus on concrete technologies and their interplay with society (domains or case studies). Examples of the former are: How do technology and society mutually shape each other? How can we understand the domestication of technology? Can and should the Internet be regulated, by what means of regulation and by whom? How do we develop a coherent position in moral issues? How can technology contribute to the solution of global problems such as climate change? Focusing on problems arising in everyday life, the (im)possibilities and (un)desirabilities of new technologies in our society will be shown from an international legal perspective and the perspective of STS. The course will provide a panorama of the many challenges that lawmakers face in today's technology-pervaded world.
The course will also provide for the students to carry out and ‘hands-on’ analysis of the ways in which technology is regulated in a chosen region of the world, based on the domains that form part of the program of the course. The analysis will be carried out in groups in order for students to benefit from the international environment that is a main characteristic of the GBL program. The results of the analysis will be presented by the students in class and will be used to create a discussion, guided by the lecturers, concerning the main (regulatory) similarities, differences, their relating socio-cultural or historical causes, and emerging patterns and trends at global level.
Please note: knowledge of technology is not at all needed for this course. This course aims at providing a thought-provoking introduction to the interactions of technology and society and provides Bachelor students with a basic understanding of the implications of a given technology for law and of the challenges of understanding and regulating these technologies.