Centre for Digital Governance

Under the direction of Gerhard Hammerschmid, the Centre conducts broad-spectrum research on digitalisation and artificial intelligence in government, while also looking at the effects of digitalisation in authoritarian regimes and the regulation of platform economies and digital capacities. It combines:

  • A public policy/governance perspective with a focus on government-business relations, regulation and ethical implications of digitalisation


  • A public management/administration perspective with a focus on transforming government (policy, service delivery) through digitalisation.

The Centre for Digital Governance cooperates closely with the School’s Data Science Lab directed by Slava Jankin.


The Centre explores perspectives of a European governance approach to digitalisation as an alternative to China's authoritarian and the US-American business-driven governance models, contributing to the development of "good statesmanship" in the digital age. In order to achieve this, the Centre combines evidence-based analyses of digitalisation phenomena with insights from good governance and normative standards to assess the impact of policies. It takes an interdisciplinary, intersectoral and collaborative approach from a global perspective that aspires to bridge informational gaps between policy areas and geographies.

Research questions

The Centre's work addresses four sets of interrelated questions:

  • What is the relationship between government, business and society in digital governance? Who is setting the rules of the game in the digital world?
  • How can digitalisation be steered in a direction that improves public well-being? What is the best mix between government, business and society in the governance of digitalisation? Does this mix differ with respect to different aspects of digitalisation?
  • How can digitalisation foster innovations in policymaking and public service delivery and drive government transformation? What is the best way to develop public management reform and state capacities (e.g. delivery, coordination, regulatory and analytical capacities) to overcome the challenges of digitalisation?
  • Which ethical standards and framework(s) are helpful to assess policy initiatives in the area of digital governance? Do the principles of good governance need to be adopted? How do we operationalise them? Are there any new normative principles that are relevant?


  • We aim to educate both a new generation of digital natives and professionals in the public sector facing digital transformations on how best to navigate this challenging space.
  • The courses we offer present students with a broad range of tools that are necessary for successfully navigating the challenges that digitalisation poses for governance, as well as for understanding the interplay between government, business and the wider society in governing digitalisation.
  • Our teaching is interdisciplinary, applied and innovative, and our faculty are internationally renowned.
  • Some of our past and current courses for MIA and MPP students include: