Research / Research Areas


Sociological Theory, Sociology of the Digital, Science & Technology Studies, Algorithmic Cultures, Sociology of Emotions and Affects, Cultural Sociology

Research Projects

Since 2020: Governing Algorithms – A Sociology of the Algorithmic Art of Governing (with Jan Groos)

This research project will contribute to the emerging studies on the art of algorithmic government. It is situated at the intersection of Cultural Sociology, Science & Technology Studies (STS) and Governmentality Studies. In this context, the term government is broadly conceived, and exceeds a strictly political definition. It refers to social fields, technologies and types of individual actions that aim at the governance of the self and others. The art of government is concerned with the reflections on the best forms of governing, and the algorithmic art of government contributes to such reflections by including algorithmic procedures as decisive elements of governing. While existing studies tend to focus on how algorithms govern people and societies, i.e., on algorithms as the subject of governance, this research project also examines the different ways in which algorithms themselves become governed and regulated, i.e., as objects of government. Empirically, the research project applies the analysis of sociotechnical imaginaries of governing algorithms in two different ways. Work package A analyses the regulation of algorithms (in financial markets and data protection), work package B studies the imaginaries of governing with algorithmic technologies (blockchain governance, cybernetic planning).

Since 2019: Algorithmic Sociality: Sociological Investigations of Automated and Assisted Mobility

This project explores the challenges of emerging technologies towards autonomous vehicles and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Existing research primarily focuses on the technical capabilities and limits of emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, machine learning, Big Data, etc.). By contrast, this project will analyse what I have called ‘algorithmic sociality’, i.e. the transformation of social relations and forms of subjectivity that accompany the advent of assistance technologies. Together with my co-authors, I have developed methodological innovations for the study of algorithmic sociality, which poses novel challenges to currently available qualitative methods with their fluctuating and distributed agencies of human actors and computational codes.

Since 2012: Automating Financial Markets. A Sociology of Algorithmic Finance (with Ann-Christina Lange [Copenhagen] and Marc Lenglet [Paris])

This research project was funded from 2012–2016 by the Cluster of Excellence, Cultural Foundations of Social Integration, Universität Konstanz. Links to this research project can be found here: and here

Since 2006: Vitalist Sociology / Lebenssoziologie (With Heike Delitz and Frithjof Nungesser)