Citizens & Government

Theme Lead: Professor Rachel Gibson

Scope of Theme 

The theme focuses on the role digital technologies play in the political lives of citizens, and particularly how social media and AI-based tools are reshaping our interactions with, and perceptions of, the democratic state, its institutions and key functions. Whilst the internet, and particularly social media, have been seen as forces for the ‘good’ in terms of encouraging citizen engagement and a more responsive government, they have also provoked increasing concern as sources of new and more disturbing phenomena such as fake news, filter bubbles, and third party interference in the democratic process. Given the current talk of a crisis of democracy and declining popular trust in politicians, the question of how far digital technology is helping to fuel these trends, or can be harnessed to counter the threat of anti-democratic forces and build a more resilient polity is very timely. The citizens and government theme brings together research expertise at Manchester that addresses these pressing concerns. Specifically our work centres on five core areas of substantive and methodological expertise:

  • Keeping our democratic institutions and elections secure in the digital era
  • Digitizing public services and government regulation of digital content
  • Protecting citizens' privacy and safeguarding personal data
  • Online extremism, hate speech, incivility and radicalisation
  • Social media and network analytics

News & Events

News & events from across the Citizens & Government theme.

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Research Areas

Learn more about research areas within the Citizens & Government theme.

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Find out about projects in the Citizens & Government theme.

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PhD Students

Find out about some of the PhD students at the University of Manchester working at the intersection of digital and citizens/government.

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Research Centres

Learn more about the research centres working on related challenges and subjects at the University of Manchester.

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Steering Group

Find out about the steering group for this theme.

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