2021/ 2022

Susana Coroado

Mobility Phase: Democracy Reporting International | School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute

Goliath vs Leviathan: How Big Tech is Challenging the State and the Rule of Law

Photo: Joanna Scheffel

Susana Coroado is a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (ICS-UL). She concluded her PhD at ICS-UL in 2020 with a thesis on the risks capture of Portuguese regulatory agencies. She holds a MA in International Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from NOVA University of Lisbon. She has also studied at Sciences-Po Paris and University Pompeu Fabra. Susana has conducted extensive research on regulation, corruption and institutional capture, lobbying, money laundering, having written several publications on these topics. She also has working experience in consulting and in both the private and public sectors. Since 2020, Susana is the chair of Transparency International Portugal (pro bono), while she has previously served as its researcher.

Goliath vs Leviathan: How Big Tech is Challenging the State and the Rule of Law

The so-called Big Tech companies went from being regarded as liberation technologies to digital gangsters, due to a succession of scandals and controversies of various kinds, many relating to key democratic issues. This project focuses on the challenges imposed by these companies to the democratic rule of law and the dynamics they create. On the one hand, these Tech Goliaths threaten fundamental democratic values, such as freedom of expression or free elections, and the enforcement of national laws. On the other hand, they are imitating the organization of the states and the rule of law to gain public legitimacy and avoid external regulation. The objectives of the project are twofold. First, it systematizes and analyzes these challenges in-depth and frame them into the larger perspective of the rule of law. In the second part, it explores how, being aware of the need to regulate themselves, Big Tech companies are emulating those same institutions and trying to create their own proto, yet imperfect rule of law. By framing these challenges and dynamics, under the angle of the rule of law, this project aims at contributing to two debates - on democracy and on digital regulation.