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Mirko Tobias Schäfer appointed Mercator Research Fellow at the NRW School of Governance

Mirko Tobias Schäfer appointed Mercator Research Fellow at the NRW School of Governance

Mirko Tobias Schäfer, co-founder of the Utrecht Data School has been appointed a Mercator Research Fellow at the NRW School of Governance for the year of 2016. Funded by the Stiftung Mercator the fellowship is a prestigious exchange program to facilitate visiting professorships for international cooperation.

During his term, Mirko will investigate the process of datafication in the German state Nordrhein-Westfalen and focus on the use of social media metrics in public management, policing and political communication. Based at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the NRW School of Governance runs an interdisciplinary political sciences program with a strong focus on practical application. The school valorizes outstanding academic research for applied public management.

The Utrecht Data School investigates datafication in public management and media industries. This fellowship seeks to benefit from the many synergies between the NRW School of Governance and the Utrecht Data School. “As citizenship and political organisation is increasingly affected by ‘datafication’, digital methods can be very fruitful for both media studies and political sciences”, says Dr. Mirko Tobias Schäfer. Understanding the profound transformation of institutions and citizenship through digitisation, algorithms and automation is an interdisciplinary challenge that requires close collaboration between different disciplines. Among other activities, a joint workshop is planned to introduce students at Duisburg-Essen to social media metrics analysis. Together with his colleague Dr. Christoph Bieber who holds the chair for Ethics in Public Management at the University Duisburg-Essen, Mirko will develop possibilities for both universities to cooperate in research activities on datafication and politics. Mirko will stay in Duisburg from April to June.