International Review of Law, Computers & Technology Submissions Welcome for Smart Cities or Smart Machines: Data Infrastructures and the Rule(s) of Law Special Issue

Deadline: 10 November 2017

International Review of Law, Computers & Technology

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”
-Mark Weiser “The Computer for the 21st Century” (1991) 265:3 Scientific American 94.


The International Review of Law, Computers & Technology (IRLCT) and Guest Editors Joseph Savirimuthu and Sujitha Subramanian are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue, entitled ‘Smart Cities or Smart Machines: Data Infrastructures and the Rule(s) of Law’. Smart technologies, connected devices and data infrastructures are increasingly becoming a dominant feature of life in our urban environments. These sociotechnical infrastructures not only provide considerable social, cultural, economic and political opportunities but bring with them new challenges for these data based environments. IRLCT is devoted to the scholarly contribution to academic and policy understanding of current and emerging challenges and opportunities facing urban environments in an increasingly connected environment of sensor technologies and data driven operations.

The Special Issue, which will be published in mid-2018, invites high quality scholarly and policy submissions that offers new insights or approaches to the prospects of urban cities evolving into hyper-connected platforms and responses to current and future challenges these mediated environments pose for our regulatory and governance structures. The framing of the narrative – “Smart Cities or Smart Machines” – is intended to emphasize the design and architecture of these urban environments where flows of information move seamlessly from humans to machines and between machines. From driverless cars to sensor based cities what does being “smart” mean for data driven operations in the area of health, education, energy, transport and local democracy? Who are the rule makers and what is the place of the rule(s) of law?

The Special Issue welcomes legal scholars from different fields to submit papers and encourages cross-disciplinary and collaborative contributions, including those which:

  • Discuss technologies that are reconfiguring urban environments and challenges they pose for human rights, competition and intellectual property
  • Examine the application and regulatory challenges posed by innovations such as blockchains and FinTech
  • Implications for urban society being managed by dashboards, graphic user interfaces, and spatial representations of human activity
  • Conceptions of private and public spaces and its significance for the rule of law
  • Models for data collection, sharing and analysis for health, education, transport, and energy
  • Narratives of Smart Cities and their influence in shaping public discourse and policymaking
  • Open Data and its role in expanding public deliberation and democratic discourse
  • Privacy and surveillance
  • Challenges for civil society in developed and developing economies

Important Dates

1. Interested authors should submit an abstract to Joseph Savirimuthu (, no later than 26 June 2017.

2. Authors will be notified of the acceptance of their abstract no later than 10 July 2017.

3. The submissions deadline is 10 November 2017. Submit via

4. All submissions will be subject to double-blind peer-review. Articles of up to 10,000 words (inclusive of footnotes) will be considered.

5. Deadline for final submission of papers is 16 February 2018.

6. Authors should follow the manuscript preparations guidance available here.

Any Further Questions?

Contact the Guest Editors Joseph Savirimuthu ( or Sujitha Subramanian ( to discuss ideas for your proposed article.