Joe Litobarski (J.S.A.)
I am a PhD candidate in the History Department and Science, Technology, and Society Studies Research Programme at Maastricht University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. I'm currently researching a thesis in the history of technology and democracy in Europe and the United States in the 20th century.
Broadly speaking, my expertise is in science and technology studies, the history of democracy, and the history of cybernetics and information theory. More specifically, my research focuses on the history of technologically-mediated deliberative and participatory democracy in Europe and the United States in the 20th century, particularly where emerging discourse on “electronic democracy” intersects with cybernetics, neoliberalism, information theory, or the early history of Artificial Intelligence and neural networks. I’m also interested in contemporary public debate around the future of democracy and social media, algorithms, and AI.
Before starting my PhD, I worked professionally in European online deliberative democracy for over a decade; connecting citizens with experts and policymakers via digital tools and facilitated virtual group discussions, as well as planning and moderating online panels and workshops.
I have over 15 years of experience as a facilitator; earning a BA (Hons) in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford in 2006, then training in facilitative mediation with the Peace and Reconciliation Group (PRG) in Derry / Londonderry in 2005-6, then with Portsmouth Mediation Service in 2007.