Algorithmic Reason

Algorithmic Reason

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Are algorithms ruling the world today? Is artificial intelligence making life-and-death decisions? Are social media companies able to manipulate elections? As we are confronted with public and academic anxieties about unprecedented changes, this book offers a different analytical prism to investigate these transformations as more mundane and fraught. Aradau and Blanke develop conceptual and methodological tools to understand how algorithmic operations shape the government of self and other. While disperse and messy, these operations are held together by an ascendant algorithmic reason. Through a global perspective on algorithmic operations, the book helps us understand how algorithmic reason redraws boundaries and reconfigures differences. The book explores the emergence of algorithmic reason through rationalities, materializations, and interventions. It traces how algorithmic rationalities of decomposition, recomposition, and partitioning are materialized in the construction of dangerous others, the power of platforms, and the production of economic value. The book shows how political interventions to make algorithms governable encounter friction, refusal, and resistance. The theoretical perspective on algorithmic reason is developed through qualitative and digital methods to investigate scenes and controversies that range from mass surveillance and the Cambridge Analytica scandal in the UK to predictive policing in the US, and from the use of facial recognition in China and drone targeting in Pakistan to the regulation of hate speech in Germany. Algorithmic Reason offers an alternative to dystopia and despair through a transdisciplinary approach made possible by the authors’ backgrounds, which span the humanities, social sciences, and computer sciences.

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This work has been downloaded 12 times via ebook links.
  1. 12 - pdf (CC BY-NC-ND) at OAPEN Library.


  • Algorithms & data structures
  • artificial intelligence
  • Computer programming / software development
  • Computer science
  • Computing & information technology
  • International relations
  • Political control & freedoms
  • Political Science & Theory
  • Politics & government
  • Society & Social Sciences


DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192859624.001.0001


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