Digitalization is transforming the relationships between the state, corporations, and citizens

Denmark is on its way to become a central node within the global distribution of data. Postdoc James Maguire investigates the rise of Apple, Facebook, and Google's datacenters in Denmark.

ResearchBusiness IT DepartmentdigitizationJames Maguire

What is your current research about?

I’m interested in the digitalization of the state, and in particular the role that data infrastructures play in this process. To help me understand this better, my current research is investigating the emergence of the datacenter industry in Denmark, paying particular attention to why and how Big Tech companies like Facebook, Apple and Google are locating their data here. The primary questions driving the research are; why has Denmark become a good place to store data? Or put a little differently; why is Denmark becoming a data haven?

What have you discovered so far?

That it’s very much about infrastructure. Denmark is second to none when it comes to energy security, and its energy grid has one of the highest ratios of renewable energy anywhere in the world, something these companies are very, very interested in. Greening their data is a high priority for Big Tech. At the same time, a small state like Denmark finds Big Tech’s promise of investment and jobs hard to resist, along with the hope of transforming certain parts of the country into European tech hubs. 

What do you find most exciting about your field?

Being able to do research in the digital transformation of the state is fascinating. Likewise is seeing how digitalization is changing existing relationships between the state, corporations and citizens. Datacenters are one way into this, and are a great site for thinking about how power is being redistributed in a digital age.

 

Further information

Jari Kickbusch, phone 7218 5304, email jark@itu.dk

James Maguire, Postdoc, email jmag@itu.dk