Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 620296-B-6
GLB: Law, Technology and Society
Course info
Course module620296-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg Law School; EST TLS;
Is part of
B Public Governance
B Public Governance
B Global Law
J. van den Boom, LLM
Other course modules lecturer
I. Kamara, LLM
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. R.E. Leenes
Other course modules lecturer
dr. L.S. Reins
Other course modules lecturer
Dr B. Zhao, LLM
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
SM 2
Course mode
Registration openfrom 09/01/2020 up to and including 02/08/2020

Course Learning Goals

After successfully completing this course the students will have knowledge of important trends in technological developments to the extent that these developments are relevant for regulation and legislation. The students will be able to:

·         Discuss the four modalities of regulation, the different regulatory actors and regulatory fora, as well as the prospects and difficulties of regulation of and by technology.

·         Discuss the mutual shaping of technology and society.

·         Explain the tension between fundamental values and new technologies (e.g. the rise of smartphone applications that invade informational privacy).

·         Provide an analysis of a legal and/or ethical issue in one of the domains covered by the course and argue how regulation has influenced and/or is influenced by technology.

·         Provide an analysis of the trends and tendencies of regulation of new technologies (based on the domains covered by the course) in a chosen nation or region of the world, including a different one from the region of origin.

·         Discuss and compare the similarities and differences among different regions of the world of regulation of new technologies


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.

Course available for exchange students
Conditions of admission apply
Contact person
dr. L.S. Reins
Timetable information
GLB: Law, Technology and Society
Required materials
The list of mandatory reading material is included in the Syllabus which will be posted on Canvas.
Recommended materials
Written (Take home 24 hr)

Kies de Nederlandse taal