A Dystopian Future? The Rise of Social Credit Systems
53 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2019 Last revised: 25 Mar 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2019
Is China's Social Credit System leading the way to a dystopian future? ‘Yes’, claims Wessel Reijers, who identifies dangerous dictatorial tendencies that do not live up to the promise of cultivating civic virtue. ‘No’, argues Jens van 't Klooster, who sees it as a promising way to enhance distributive justice and an alternative for price mechanisms in market economies. In an online symposium, we have asked several eminent scholars to take sides in this timely controversy concerning an unparalleled effort of social engineering that will soon influence the lives of over a billion citizens. Is the Social Credit System a ‘digital dictatorship’ or a ‘digital republic’? How unique it is in a comparative and historical perspective? Is a social credit system good for women? And what are the implications of the system on the institution of citizenship?
Note: Kickoffs by Wessel Reijers and Jens van 't Klooster; contributions by Yongxi Chen, Jiahong Chen, John Cheney-Lippold, Jeremy Daum, Costica Dumbrava, Jelena Dzankic, Joshua Fairfield, Primavera de Filippi, Cristie Ford, Francesca Lagioia, Miriam Müller, Liav Orgad, Alberto Romele, Giovanni Sartor, Mathias Siems, Mac Sithigh.
Keywords: Social Credit System, China, Digital Dictatorship, Digital Republic, Civic Virtue, Digital Citizenship, Justice
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