How Technological Change Reshapes Politics: Technology, Elections, and Policies

Summary

Technological change and automation are disrupting labor markets in advanced democracies and rekindling fears about technological unemployment and how the future of work will be. While there is little doubt that rapid technological progress has far-reaching economic effects, its political consequences remain largely unexplored. The goal of this project is to study how technological change in the workplace contributes to ongoing deep political transformations (including the surge of populist movements), the adoption of policies to address change, and the political consequences of such policies.

The project is organized in four complementary work packages (WP). WP1 examines how workers’ individual economic trajectories and political behavior change when their industries digitalize. WP2 studies how the introduction of technology affects local-level political and electoral outcomes using rich administrative data. WP3 assesses how technological vulnerability affects citizen preferences for a wide range of policies to respond to technological change. WP4 analyses the successes, failures, and political consequences of existing social policies to reduce individual and regional disparities due to technological change.

The project will contribute to understanding how the grievances generated by profound technological change manifest themselves politically. It will result in recommendations of politically viable and effective policies to help workers and communities adapt to a fast-changing economic landscape and increased insecurity about what the future of jobs will be, which ensures a high potential for impact. The project helps understand “The evolving politics of threat” (theme 2 of the call) and the underlying causes of “Shifting identities and representation” (theme 4).

Details

Project number

462-19-131

Main applicant

Dr. H. Finseraas PhD

Affiliated with

Institute for Social Research

Duration

01/06/2020 to 31/05/2023