Jędrzej Niklas

Jędrzej Niklas

Jędrzej Niklas is a socio-legal scholar whose research explores the role of emerging digital technologies in the operations of state and public institutions and their social justice implications. He holds a PhD in law (international public law) from the University of Warsaw, and previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the London School of Economics, University of Leeds, and Cardiff University.
At IFiS, Jędrzej is based in the Sociology of Politics, Economy and Education unit led by dr hab. Michał Federowicz, prof. IFiS PAN.
His PASIFIC mentor at IFiS is dr hab. Krzysztof Niedziałkowski, prof. IFiS PAN

DATAFORESTS: Public Forest Governance in a Datafied Society


The DATAFOREST project analyzes how modern technologies such as AI, Big Data, drones or remote sensors, are becoming part of, and transform, public forests policy and governance in Poland. Recent technological innovations and the abundance of data that they lead to are part of a broader ‘data revolution’ that affects all areas of social, political and economic life. While we know a lot of how such tools are applied in relation to smart cities or digital social media, the use of data technologies in environmental governance, including forests, remains understudied, despite the fact that they enable researchers to analyze, predict and make decisions about forest conservation, wildfires or logging. Such a situation is problematic, on two grounds.
First, data technologies promise greater efficiency and better decision-making.
Second, they can also lead to unanticipated consequences, including lower democratic accountability, transparency and restrictions to citizens’ rights.

By relying on a mixed-method approach, this project studies practices, discourses and policies developed by state agencies, civil society groups and other actors engaged in developing data technologies in public forest governance in Poland. The aims are to
(1) understand how these technologies impact socio-economic relations, and
(2) develop a theoretical model that captures the dynamics of changes that the state undergoes through datafication in the context of environmental governance.
Ultimately, insights from this research will help outline a more democratic framework for digital and environmental policymaking.

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