The emergence of new technology has repeatedly appeared unique to those living through the resulting changes. The digital revolution of the decades around the year 2000 has generated unprecedented claims of exceptionalism, with particular regard to the potentially redemptive or destructive power of the digital. New technologies of communication have the obvious potential to transform the conduct of democratic society, but it is far from obvious how to assess the nature of this transformation as well as its implications. This project seeks to investigate such claims through a set of historical comparisons and contextualisations which will pose the question of whether – and in which ways – we have been here before. Its aim will be to provide a set of tools for thinking critically and constructively about the impact of the digital revolution on democracy.
Daniel Wilson is a postdoctoral research associate on the Technology and Democracy project at CRASSH. He is an affiliated research scholar of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, where he teaches the history of modern science and technology, as well as the sociology of scientific knowledge.
Previously, Daniel was a CNRS research fellow of the EHESS in Paris, as part of a project about nineteenth-century predictive sciences, 'PROFUTUR'. Before that, he worked on Victorian history as part of the Leverhulme-funded Cambridge Victorian Studies Group. Daniel's first degree was in Philosophy at Cambridge; he has both a Master's and a PhD in History from the University of London. His research interests include Modern British and Intellectual History, Concept History, History of Science and Technology, History of Economic Thought and Social Studies of Finance.
"J.A. Hobson and the Machinery Question," Journal of British Studies, Volume 54.2, (2015): 377-405
"Arnold Toynbee and the Industrial Revolution: The Science of History, Political Economy and the Machine Past," History & Memory, 26.2 (2014): 133-161.
“The Birth of Now,” History Workshop Journal, 65 (2008): 252-258.