Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3135: Platform Politics: Power, Technology and the Circuits of Social Struggle

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (10 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr James Muldoon (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module examines the political dimensions of how technology shapes our future. Digital platforms are in the process of constituting new superpowers whose horizontal and global networks are challenging the vertical power of state governments. The tech industry has emerged from the pandemic more powerful than ever, increasing the urgency of issues such as privacy, surveillance, monopoly power and election interference. Topics in this module will include artificial intelligence, machine learning, the future of automation, digital platforms, changes to work and leisure, and the regulation of the tech industry. It will also examine a wide array of historical material relating to technology in order to situate our current tech-driven and media-saturated present within its historical context. This will better enable students to understand the different ideologies that have emerged around technology and its development. This also prompts philosophical reflection on the nature of our relationship with technology and how it is altering what it is to be human. Will technology create a post-human future and will democracy survive long enough for us to assert control over this process? 

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students.

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