Professor Muzammil Hussain visited the Quello Center and gave an informative talk based on his new multi-year project on ‘Bio-Social Data Innovation & Governance in Asia’ (Big-DIG). The Big-DIG project seeks to use qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to understand how IT infrastructure and big data mining strategies (e.g., bio-metrics and social credit systems, in India and China, respectively) are being developed and applied as governance and management tools by over 22 Asian countries with respect to their citizens. You can view his talk here.
Professor Hussain’s talk provided a valuable perspective on how big data approaches are fulfilling some of the functions of the longterm state dream of identification cards and national databases about citizens. These developments are quite different from the more positive visions of mining big data for social and economic development. It is certainly valuable that Muzammil’s research is putting the state role of big data in a new light, and to the attention of more development researchers.