Emerging Digital Citizenship Regimes

Cover of Emerging Digital Citizenship Regimes

Postpandemic Technopolitical Democracies



Table of contents

(8 chapters)

This chapter introduces the book by revolving around its core concept: digital citizenship. This introductory chapter on digital citizenship regimes in the postpandemics could be established by including several brief discussion points that gradually introduce and lead us comprehensively to the chapters of the book previously introduced. These discussion points are informative and attempt to introduce progressively to the key chapters of the book as follows: (1) Urban-Digital Citizenship Nexus; (2) Advancing Recent Literature on Citizenship; (3) Rescaling Nation-States: Pandemic Citizenship and Algorithmic Nations; (4) Beyond the Smart Cities; (5) Exploring Digital Citizenship Towards Technopolitical Dynamics; (6) Borderless and Pandemic Citizenship; and (7) In Summary: Towards Future Research and Policy Avenues in the Postpandemics.


This chapter elucidates how digital citizenship regimes may be rescaling nation-states. In order to shed light on this phenomenon, the chapter introduces and answers three main research questions to unfold the content of this book as follows: (1) How will nation-states in Europe evolve in the aftermath of the emerging digital citizenship regimes? (2) Against the backdrop of the COVID-19, will the urban age reconfigure the technopolitics of European nation-states through new digital citizenship regimes (Moisio, 2018)? (3) And ultimately, will Europe evolve towards a post-national technopolity from a platform of established nation-states headed for a city-regionalised federal network of nations determined voluntarily and democratically through blockchain (Bauböck & Orgad, 2019; Calzada, 2018a, 2022; Calzada & Bustard, 2022; De Filippi & Lavayssiére, 2020; De Filippi, Mann, & Reijers, 2020; Keating, 2017; Keating, Jordana, Marx, & Wouters, 2019; Orgad & Bauböck, 2018)?


This chapter develops a conceptual taxonomy of five emerging digital citizenship regimes: (1) the globalised and generalisable regime called pandemic citizenship that clarifies how post-COVID-19 datafication processes have amplified the emergence of four intertwined, non-mutually exclusive and non-generalisable new technopoliticalised and city-regionalised digital citizenship regimes in certain European nation-states’ urban areas; (2) algorithmic citizenship, which is driven by blockchain and has allowed the implementation of an e-Residency programme in Tallinn; (3) liquid citizenship, driven by dataism – the deterministic ideology of big data – and contested through claims for digital rights in Barcelona and Amsterdam; (4) metropolitan citizenship, as revindicated in reaction to Brexit and reshuffled through data co-operatives in Cardiff; and (5) stateless citizenship, driven by devolution and reinvigorated through data sovereignty in Barcelona, Glasgow and Bilbao. This chapter challenges the existing interpretation of how these emerging digital citizenship regimes together are ubiquitously rescaling the associated spaces/practices of European nation-states.


Northern Ireland (NI) has pervasively been a fragile and often disputed city-regional nation. Despite NI's slim majority in favour of remaining in the European Union, de facto Brexit, post-pandemic challenges and the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) have revealed a dilemma: people of all political hues have started to question aspects of their own citizenship. Consequently, this chapter suggests an innovative approach called ‘Algorithmic Nations’ to better articulate its emerging/complex citizenship regimes for this divided and post-conflict society in which identity borders and devolution may be facilitated through blockchain technology. This chapter assesses implications of this dilemma for a city-regionalised nation enmeshed within the UK, Ireland and Europe: NI through Belfast, its main metropolitan hub. The chapter explores digital citizenship in NI by applying ‘Algorithmic Nations’ framework particularly relating to intertwined (1) cross-bordering, (2) critical awareness, (3) digital activism and (4) post-pandemic realities and concludes with three dilemmas and how ‘Algorithmic Nations’ framing could better integrate NI's digital citizenship.


Insofar as the digital layer cannot be detached from the current democratic challenges of the 21st century including neoliberalism, scales, civic engagement and action research-driven co-production methodologies; this chapter advances trends, aftermaths and emancipatory strategies for the post-pandemic technopolitical democracies. Consequently, it suggests a democratic toolbox encompassing four intertwined trends, aftermaths and emancipations including (1) the context characterised by the algorithmic nations, (2) challenges stemming from data sovereignty, (3) mobilisation seen from the digital rights perspective and (4) grassroots innovation embodied through data co-operatives. This chapter elucidates that in the absence of coordinated and interdependent strategies to claim digital rights and data sovereignty by algorithmic nations, on the one hand, Big Tech data-opolies, and on the other hand, the GDPR led by the European Commission might bound (negatively) and expand (positively), respectively, algorithmic nations' capacity to mitigate the negative side effects of the algorithmic disruption in Western democracies.

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