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Podcasts & Blog Posts


10+1 Questions - Real Life in Academia

In 2021, Sofia Ranchordas co-hosted a podcast with a limited number of episodes on academia, inviting well-established academics from different fields to reflect upon their career, share advice with young scholars, and offer suggestions to improve the current downsides of academic life. 

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Podcast Episode

Sofia Ranchordás on Inclusive Mobility

Geert Kloppenburg and Carin ten Hage speak with Professor Sofia Ranchordás (University of Groningen) on how a municipality can inclusively redesign its mobility structure, the need for more social transportation and why transport poverty is invisible for most policymakers.



Cities of God: Smart Cities and Surveillance​

"This contribution focuses on the attractive force of smart-city technologies for poor and crime-ridden urban spaces and its legal concerns. I argue that we should be particularly critical of the employment of surveillance technologies in slums because they are by definition vulnerable places from different perspectives. First, favelas (and similar neighborhoods) are densely populated areas, with deficient housing where residents have close social interactions. Privacy is limited when large families share limited spaces built close to each other. Privacy becomes impossible when cameras and other sensors are installed in these areas. "
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Experimental lawmaking in the EU: Regulatory Sandboxes

"Regulatory sandboxes, experimental clauses, and experimental regulations are relatively unknown terms in EU law. The term ‘experimental lawmaking’ is elusive and it is unclear how experimental laws and regulations fit within existing EU law frameworks. Regulatory sandboxes are a leading and recent example of experimental lawmaking which started at national level and is now slowly making its way into the EU law toolbox."
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Administrative Vulnerability and Digital Technology: A Novel Concept for Inclusive Administrative Law

"The right to participate on equal terms in the digital society and have access to public services implicates stable access to the Internet, literacy, digital skills, digital capital, user-friendly systems, and digital systems that can be used by all citizens at any point in their lives. This last element deserves to be underlined: regardless of our education, tech-savviness, age, and socioeconomic background, we all have vulnerable moments when we are less able or willing to engage with complex and foreign technological systems. Drawing on existing scholarship on vulnerability, this last column introduces the concept of administrative vulnerability in the digital age and aims to offer some research questions for future research on public law and technology."
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Bureaucracy and Vulnerability in the (Digital) Administrative State

"President Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine scariest words in English are: “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.” This statement, intended as a joke, translates a common and relatable sentiment of distrust vis-à-vis public authorities. When we initiate our students into the complex world of Administrative Law, Social Security Law or Local Law, we teach them that citizens are entitled to various public services. In practice, citizens face multiple bureaucratic hurdles when contacting governments, including the requirement to fill in dozens of forms, comply with overwhelmingly complex procedures, long waiting lists, not to mention incomprehensible language and procedures. Digital government was supposed to come to the rescue of citizens and ensure seamless government transactions. However, this is not yet what is happening."
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Too Poor to Travel: The Right to Inclusive Mobility Beyond the Lockdown

"This column draws attention to the problem of transport poverty and the need for more legal research on inclusive mobility. I do not argue that we should add another fundamental right to the longstanding proliferation of fundamental rights. Rather, I contend that inclusive mobility is grounded in the right to equal treatment, particularly in the case of physical or psychological disabilities. This column draws on a recent paper and a podcast on inclusive mobility where I explain the problem of transport poverty  and how it sets limits on the exercise of multiple socio-economic rights."
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We Teach and Learn Online. Are We All Digital Citizens Now? Lessons on Digital Citizenship from the Lockdown

"At first sight, the spread of COVID-19 has appeared to put an end to several hesitations regarding the shift to online teaching, remote working, and the advancement of digital government. Strangely enough, this shift appears to be working, particularly for individuals who do not have homeschooling obligations and enjoy the peace and quiet of their homes. However, a closer look at this situation shows that the rapid digitalization of public services (including health and education) is leaving out a growing number of citizens. Remote learning and working are privileges that are designed for so-called ‘digital citizens’, that is, individuals who can fully engage with technology from an educational, political, and participatory perspective. Nevertheless, many individuals do not yet identify themselves as digital citizens and are not even acquainted with the meaning and implications of this concept." 
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Automation of Public Services and Digital Exclusion

"If you are reading this blogpost, you most certainly have the required digital skills to engage with your national or local digital government services. You can fill in online your tax return forms, use social media to communicate with local authorities, help your children apply for a new school or university, and challenge an automated administrative decision (e.g., a speeding fine). However, for millions of citizens throughout the world, engaging with digital government is far from obvious. This blogpost discusses the problems of digital inequality and digital exclusion in the context of the digitization and automation of public services."
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Public Law and Technology: Automating Welfare, Outsourcing the State

"In October 2019, the newspaper The Guardian dedicated a full week to the “automation of poverty,” analyzing controversial governmental practices throughout the world that involve employing technology not only to determine welfare eligibility but also to closely monitor welfare recipients. The use of digital technology and other surveillance techniques to prevent welfare fraud had also been criticized months earlier by the UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human rights, as well as in recent literature on data-driven social security. This blogpost continues this discussion, identifying some of the legal problems of automating welfare services, particularly when this automation involves private actors."

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