Technology, politics, society

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Robotic wasp and a Natural wasp meeting.
Robotic wasp and a Natural wasp meeting. Image credit: Pixabay, image by marian anbu juwan.

Technology has never played a bigger role for questions of democracy, justice, sustainability, and freedom than today. Advances in autonomous weapon systems, Chinese infrastructural ventures along a ‘new Silk Road’, data mining by multinational tech companies, and geo-engineering solutions to eventually halt climate change are all examples of large-scale developments that can alter society and international politics in fundamental ways.

This course provides a chance to understand the politics of technology and its future implications.

General information

In this Tracks course, students get the chance to learn about and critically examine global politics and technological developments from a social science perspective.

The course is studied jointly with students from University of Gothenburg, with teachers from both universities. We delve into historical, current, and future technologies, investigating both research and practice.
The course aims to provide students with the skills to critically examine the evolving relationship between technology, society and (global) politics, using tools and approaches from history of technology, science and technology studies, and philosophy of technology.

Assignments include a project done in interdisciplinary teams, short essays, seminars, exercises, and lectures.

Technology, Politics and Society can be read as either a 7.5 ECTS course (TRA290, part time) or a 15 ECTS course (TRA295, full time). For 15 credits, a longer essay is included.


The course is open to students from all educational programs at Chalmers, but at least 5 students need to have signed up for the course to start. A maximum of 15 students can take the course.

How to apply

Write a half-page to one-page explanation of why you would like to take the course and send it along with your CV to course examiners and instructors Karl de Fine Licht and Helene Ahlborg. Students are admitted to the course based on their motivation, interests, and merits. Previous studies in social science or humanities (for example MTS courses) are meriting.


Teachers: Karl de Fine Licht and Helene Ahlborg
Course dates: Study period 4, 2024
Credits: 7.5 ECTS 
Level: Advanced 

Course codes: (TRA290 part time) or 15 ECTS (TRA295, full time)
Application deadline: Closed for applications.

MTS course