Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Child Welfare in a Digital World

GUEST RESEARCHER: Matthias Braun is scrutinizing how digital technologies shape and challenge the processes of child welfare.

Matthias Braun is currently a visiting scholar at the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism. One of the key challenges that he is addressing during his stay is the question of who is recognized under what conditions as a person with rights and fundamental desires which have to be heard and taken into account.

– The processes of acting on behalf of vulnerable groups exposes fundamental challenges within the welfare system. A better understanding of these processes is critical. This issue is relevant in the child protection system, but also for example with regards to persons with psychiatric disorders or persons with disabilities.

PHOTO: Matthias Braun together with Jenny Krutzinna, senior research fellow at the Centre.

Promoting children’s welfare in digital regimes

Together with Marit Skivenes and Jenny Krutzinna he is especially concerned with the question of how to better understand the transformation processes of protecting children and promoting children’s welfare in digital regimes.

– How do new technologies as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence shape, but also challenge, recent practices in children welfare and protection? And how can we better understand these processes and find ways to embed a conceptual frame for their future use? That is something we want to look more into.

Governning new technological developments

Matthias Braun serves as an assistant professor in ethics at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. His main fields of research is concerned with the ethics and governance of emerging (bio-) technologies, fundamental concepts of recognition and vulnerability, as well as political ethics.

He has published several important publications in these fields in leading international journals, is leading several research projects and collaborates with different national as well as international institutions in the field of governing new technological developments.

During his time in Bergen, Matthias Braun has also been giving talks and mentoring the young researchers at the Centre. Senior research fellow Jenny Krutzinna hopes to expand the collaboration withBraun and the research group in Erlangen in the future.

– It has been very exciting to work with Matthias. Bringing different perspectives on recognition into the field of child protection is very interesting and fruitful.

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