Adam Harkens



What began as an investigation into whether current legal frameworks for privacy are adequate - in light of the advent of the Internet of Things, and big data – my research has evolved to go further than these issues, and explore how algorithmic data analysis enables new forms of economic governance in every-day life. Informed by Foucault, Deleuze, and subsequent scholars, it looks at the ways in which algorithms facilitate the production of an ‘immediately operational’ knowledge; allowing public decision-makers to ‘conduct the conduct’ of certain populations, through processes of ‘algorithmic governmentality’.  To do so, my research looks at two areas, specifically, where algorithms are currently contributing to a metamorphosis in knowledge production: health and legal practice. My initial question therefore has now become: whether the IoT and big data will actually force a change in the current legal frameworks.


Originally from Derry, in the north-west of Ireland, I have been at Queen’s University since the beginning of my undergraduate studies. Having obtained a BA in History and Politics, I moved on to the university’s two-year MLaw course, and began my PhD studies in September 2015 - following a brief stint working in corporate disputes for Herbert Smith Freehills. My interest in law stems from my undergraduate degree, and realising the extent to which law and politics are intertwined. I felt that obtaining substantial, and technical, legal knowledge, would allow me to speak on these subjects with greater insight. I am also currently a part of the Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society (LINCS), which is based at Queen’s.



Professor John Morison


Professor Daniel Crooks  (ECIT)

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