Project: Automating Welfare - Algorithmic Infrastructures for Human Flourishing in Europe

Acronym AUTO-WELF (Reference Number: CHANSE-546)
Duration 01/10/2022 - 01/10/2025
Project Topic In a world where automation is thought to increase productivity and efficiency with less effort and at lower costs, what happens to human flourishing when this logic is deployed to support decisions in the welfare sector? AUTO-WELF investigates the extensive implementation of automated decision-making in the welfare sector across Europe. It is the first to provide a comparative analysis of automated welfare provision across European welfare regimes to examine the implications of algorithms and artificial intelligence for the future of European citizens and societies. Data-based infrastructures for public administration are shaping not only welfare provision, but also state-citizen relations and prompt questions of human agency in relation to complex socio-technical systems, ethics and accountability, as well as biases and inequalities. The project foregrounds the perspective of people implicated in the automation process including software engineers, case workers and citizens. Implementing a multi-method, interdisciplinary and cross-country comparative approach, the project will develop groundbreaking knowledge on the consequences of automating welfare in two domains: a) core welfare service and b) communal welfare infrastructures. These domains will be explored across eight European countries (Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden) representing four types of the welfare state and its different stages of automated decision-making. The project provides an in-depth and cutting-edge understanding of the process of automating welfare from a European perspective producing highly relevant insights into how automated decision-making can support but also harm human flourishing.
Network CHANSE
Call Transformations: Social and Cultural Dynamics in the Digital Age

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Södertörn University Coordinator Sweden
2 University of Copenhagen Partner Denmark
3 Leipzig University Partner Germany
4 University of Warsaw Partner Poland
5 Austrian Academy of Sciences Partner Austria
6 University of Bologna Observer Italy
7 Lusófona University Observer Portugal
8 DataEthics, Copenhagen Observer Denmark
9 Arena for Journalism in Europe / DataHarvest Observer Belgium
10 Haus der Kulturen der Welt Observer Germany
11 Algorithm Watch Observer Germany
12 The Danish Institute for Human Rights Observer Denmark
13 – Plattform Grundrechtspolitik Observer Austria
14 Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG Observer Austria