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Social Credit Systems


China’s effort to implement a Social Credit System (SCS) offers a fascinating case of a technological ecosystem designed for social control. Driven by public-private partnerships, it combines public policy and law making with data-driven solutions to monitor and control citizens’ actions and identities. Underlying the SCS are notions of “good citizens”, the type of citizen that optimally contributes to a flourishing political community, and of “civic virtues”, the state of character that contributes to a desirable civic life.

Citizen scoring systems involve a wide range of challenges: [1] Technological, how to register participants, record data, and measure activities; [2] political, who determines the definition and criteria of “good citizenship”, its data sources, and policy areas; [3] ethical, what moral concerns are involved in using social credit systems; [4] comparative: how different is China’s Social Credit System from Western social scoring systems; and [5] normative: what should be the tests to distinguish between just and unjust systems. In general, the project seeks to underscore utopian and dystopian directions for future development of citizenship.


Duration: 2018 - 2022

Funding: ERC Starting Grant, Agreement No. 716350







Digital Dictatorship
Recent Event

Digital Dictatorship or Digital Republic?

Workshop on the law and ethics of China's social credit system

Rogier Creemers Keynote

Keynote by Rogier Creemers

China's Social Credit System: What it is and what it isn't

Wessel Reijers

Project: CitTech

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