Governing Technologies

  • Bächtold, S. (Organiser)
  • Preeti Raghunath (Organiser)
  • Joanne Lim (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course


The world over, we see states imagining and implementing the digitisation of governance and services through practices of datafication – and technology actors assuming the functions of government. From biometric citizenship and identity systems for service delivery to the making of humanitarian data systems, the making of digital cities to deliberate internet blackouts disconnecting entire populations, digital technologies today have become closely entangled with social power structures and with how (state) authority is performed. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the socio-technical imaginaries – that order ideas, practices and policies and depict how our (future) societies will be functioning – have become even more datafied and digitalised.
But there exist cracks, chasms, and ruptures in these assemblages: Akin to former arrangements of government, they are intertwined and coexisting with other forms of authority and structures of marginalisation; and are contested by a range of emergent, decentralised actors that have carved out spaces for re-interpreting, questioning, and resisting in the current landscape of digital infrastructures. These mobilisations include populations marginalised by a variety of such power structures, whose agency and struggles have to be analysed with a post/de-colonial lens against the region’s histories.
This workshop aims to problematise past and current socio-technical imaginaries and datafication practices of the rapidly digitising nation-states in Asia, and gather critical analyses of where the digital, government, and power intersect: Who are the (human and non-human) actors propelling these initiatives and new arrangements? What do their discourses around these imaginaries reveal about their ambitions, interests, and conflicts? What role do communities and the people play in shaping, adapting, and resisting digital plans and practices, and who decides? 
We seek to bring together scholars interested in unravelling these politics and practices of the digital in an online workshop hosted by Monash University Malaysia, in October 2022. We invite exchange on empirical and conceptual contributions from multiple disciplines that critically examine current arrangements of digital technologies, societies, and/or states in Asia. Secondly, we also would like to make this an opportunity to establish research networks and discuss possible future research collaborations across the region and concurrent disciplines. This could, for example, take the form of a planned special issue in an academic journal or plans for collaborative and transdisciplinary research projects. 
Period27 Oct 202228 Oct 2022
Event typeWorkshop
LocationKuala Lumpur, MalaysiaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Digital technologies
  • statehood
  • Asia
  • Government