Call for Papers: Crowdsourcing and the Decline of the Individual



Event Date: 

01/11/22 to 01/13/22

Location name: 



The College of Law & Business, Ramat Gan, Israel and the Law & Ethics in Human Rights Journal (LEHR)

Call for Papers

Crowdsourcing and the Decline of the Individual

 Journal symposium Law and Ethics of Human Rights, January 11-13, 2022

Convenors: Shelly Kreiczer-Levy & Tamar Megiddo

The College of Law & Business, Ramat Gan, Israel and the Law & Ethics in Human Rights Journal (LEHR) invite submissions for the LEHR annual symposium to be held online on January 11-13, 2022.

LEHR is a peer-reviewed journal with a strong tradition of publishing excellent work on contemporary dilemmas. In 2020, LEHR was ranked third in the world in the category of human rights law by the Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking, as well as third in impact factor among non-US law journals.

This year’s symposium will address crowdsourcing and the decline of the individual. Platforms have served to connect people and build new communities across the boundaries of political, national, geographic, class, and other divisions. From Tahrir Square to Gamestop, platforms have allowed people to get together, find common grounds with others and promote their agenda, even in the face of powerful opponents. While these newfound opportunities for democratic, social and economic participation offer great benefits, there is also a social cost. Digital capitalism allows platforms and technological manufacturers to harness, manipulate, and capitalize on the power of the crowd. Governments and corporations rely on crowds to produce and curate content, collect information, provide a service, do a job, become the product. Crowds thus willingly or unwittingly participate in projects that produce economic gains for others, by using artificial intelligence-based software, communicating with others and contributing content on social media.

The rise of platforms also generates a parallel process of disempowering individuals. The disruption caused by platforms undermines fundamental liberal institutions aimed at guarding individual autonomy, by limiting and reassigning property, preying on privacy and limiting expression. Viewed in this light, the crowd ‘sourced’ is revealed to be not a united group of persons, empowered by their multitude, but rather an aggregation of estranged, unprotected individual actors.

The symposium will last three days in which participants will present their papers and engage each other’s work. It will bring together invited speakers as well as participants chosen from the call for papers. Submission should include a 300-word abstract sent to both & by September 2, 2021. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis.

Towards the workshop, participants are asked to submit a 4,000-6,000 word precis which will be circulated to workshop participants. Final papers, subsequently submitted to LEHR for publication, are expected to be approximately 8,000-10,000 words.

Possible topics include:

  • Crowdfunding justice: funding litigation and other crowd involvement in the judicial process
  • Crowdsourcing law enforcement
  • Governments as platforms
  • Artificial intelligence, big data and un- or under-compensated labor
  • Investment crowdfunding
  • Property redefined in the age of platforms
  • Freedom of expression and platform content-moderation in the post-Trump era
  • Online activism in the age of digital authoritarianism
  • The disempowerment of individuals in the digital sphere
  • Crowdsourcing and human rights in times of emergency
  • COVID 19, disinformation and platform governance
  • Intellectual property over crowdsourced materials
  • Crowdsourcing medical and scientific information: privacy, scientific research and the pandemic

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