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Digital Government


Course description

Digital technologies fundamentally transform the way governments work and – as a result – the relations between citizens and governments. ICTs have opened up an abundance of opportunities to redesign public policymaking and the interactions with citizens. The introduction and use of these technologies, however, go beyond mere instrumental changes: they are part of complex societal processes and raise fundamental legal issues, also pertaining to the rule of law. A growing use of ICTs, for instance, leads to new vulnerabilities (e.g. identity fraud, personal data abuse, information security issues) that can harm citizens. If these vulnerabilities are not adequately addressed, they can negatively impact legal protection instruments in the hands of the citizens. The use of digital technologies can shift the balance of power between government and citizens, for instance in the case technological surveillance, which raises questions of legitimacy, accountability and transparency. This course addresses and critically assesses in light of the rule of law and emerging EU law relevant socio-technological developments related to the use of digital technologies. It will show how electronic government is transforming into the information government, which issues and concerns are raised by these changes, and how they pertain to the law. The course will study in detail particular developments, such as smart cities and automated decision making, that have an impact on citizen-government relations.

Course Requirement

Master Degree


The timetable of this course will be available for students in Brightspace


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard


Attendance of 80% of the scheduled course lectures is mandatory

Examination Method

  • Group work (25 %)

  • Final exam (65%)

  • Active participation in class (10%)

Contact information

Programme Coordinator
Ms Patricia Garcia Fernandez
Telephone number: 0031- 71 527 4228

This course has been updated to the best of our knowledge at the current time of publishing. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the fluctuating changes in lock down regulations all information contained within this course description are subject to change up to 1 September 2020.
Due to the uncertainty of the Covid 19 virus after 1 September 2020, changes to the course description can only be made in the event of strict necessity and only in the circumstances where the interests of the students are not impinged. Should there be a need for any change during the duration of the course, this will be informed to all students on a timely basis and will not be to the prejudice of students. Modifications after 1 September 2020 may only be done with the approval and consent of the Faculty Board