Beyond Autonomy: Understanding How New Social, Scientific and Technological Influences are Shaping the Future of Freedom

  • Watkin, Chris (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Angus, Simon (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Alizadeh, Ali (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Chaplin, Felicity (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Davis, Oliver (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Heath-Kelly, Charlotte (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Hewlett, Nick (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Ahearne, Jeremy (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

This project analyses how new social, scientific and technological realities are changing our understanding of freedom, and explores how we can develop new accounts of freedom that empower citizens to make informed decisions about their liberty.

The dominant modern concept of individual autonomy was not designed for today’s world of extremism, surveillance, big data and climate change, all of which complicate its simple axis of oppression and liberation. Yet a sense that we have been freed from past oppressions remains fundamental to our self-construction as individuals and to the collective identity of modern Western societies.

Drawing together a cross-disciplinary group of researchers from the arts, humanities, social and economic sciences, and leveraging the networks of Monash and Warwick centres, we will host two international interdisciplinary workshops at Monash and Warwick in 2020 to evaluate how ideas of freedom have evolved and can continue to change in order to meet emerging social challenges, prepare a ground-breaking interdisciplinary edited volume with a major publisher, and prepare a major grant application to develop the research further.
Short titleBeyond Autonomy
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/20


  • autonomy
  • liberation
  • emancipation
  • freedom
  • ecology
  • extremism
  • technology