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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Josh Platzky Miller (Centre of Development Studies PhD graduate), Antoine Sander (POLIS PhD student) and Sharath Srinivasan (POLIS) have a new open access article out in Development & Change titled ‘Control, Extract, Legitimate: COVID-19 and Digital Techno-opportunism across Africa’. In the article, they interrogate the politics of digital technology deployed to curtail COVID-19 spread in Africa. Digital ‘solutions’ were heralded by states, tech companies and health/development agencies across Africa during the pandemic. These tools largely failed in their public health objectives yet, the authors argue, this ‘productive failure’ revealed and accelerated new potentialities for controlling populations through digital surveillance, extracting commercial rents and legitimating authority through projected digital competence.