Numerical Operations, Transparency Illusions and the Datafication of Governance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Building on conceptual insights from the history and sociology of numbers, media and surveillance studies, and theories of governance and risk, this article analyzes the forms of transparency produced by the use of numbers in social life. It examines what it is about numbers that often makes their ‘truth claims’ so powerful, investigates the role that numerical operations play in the production of retrospective, real-time and anticipatory forms of transparency in contemporary politics and economic transactions, and discusses some of the implications resulting from the increasingly abstract and machine-driven use of numbers......

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Theory
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)203-220
StatePublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Anticipatory Transparency, big data, Numerical Operations, Pre-emptive Prediction, Rankings, Risk

ID: 42886648