Algorithmic Governance and public values: A mixed methods analysis of parliamentary debates deducting public values linked to algorithmic governance
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The public values of political actors can be seen as the underlying mechanism of opinions, however no previous research has studied politicians values. This thesis will focus on Hood’s typology of values: the sigma (efficiency), theta (fairness) and lambda (resilience) type values. Through an content analysis of 44 Dutch parliamentary debates, this study gives explorative results on politicians’ values regarding the topic of algorithmic governance. The study focuses on algorithms since it is a topic with increased relevance, and the results can contribute towards the development of algorithmic governance. In addition to the explorative analysis, four hypotheses have been tested through 14 single linear regressions, in order to examine the effect of party family and parliamentary opposition status on change and diversity of values. The collected data consists of a sample size of 422. The hypotheses in this article are derived from political literature and have formed expectations based on parties’ size and resources. The results of this study show that the values regarding algorithms are somewhat equally distributed, yet lean towards being more sigma and theta. This shows the tension between efficiency and ethics. Furthermore, the results indicate that larger parties like the socialist and religious party family are less likely to change their values than smaller parties like the green party family. Moreover, coalitions’ values will change less and are more diverse than oppositions’ values. The results suggest that when creating an assessment framework for algorithms within the government, the tension between the sigma and theta values needs to be acknowledged.