Global Technology Governance and Public Policy

Instructor Name

Daniel Guttman

Instructor Biography

Daniel Guttman is teacher, lawyer and been a public servant. He was Executive Director of a Presidential Advisory Commission on bioethics, presidentially appointed Commissioner of the Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission, directed Senate investigations of government energy and environmental management, and was UNDP “foreign expert advisor” on China environmental law. He is Professor, Tianjin University Law school, adjunct professor, Fudan IGPP, affiliated scholar New York University US/Asia Law Institute, been visiting Professor at Peking, Tsinghua, Nanjing, Shanghai Jiao Tong Universities, and taught for many years at Johns Hopkins in the U.S. As lawyer, he has represented cities, states, citizens, and workers in energy, environmental, antimonopoly, human rights and anti-corruption litigation. He is Of Counsel to Guttman, Buschner and Brooks, whose lawyers have helped government recover billions of dollars from corrupt practices by health, banking, energy companies, and military contractors. He co-authored The Shadow Government, a seminal study of U.S. government uses of experts, authored/coauthored many further books/articles, testified many times before the Congress and other public bodies, shared in journalism awards, and is Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration.

Course Description

In 2023, ancient and unresolved challenges of war, pandemic, poverty and inequality are conjoined with 21st century challenges of climate change and sustainability. 

To address old and new challenges, many look to new technologies. But, at the same time, there are deep questions of how these technologies will themselves be governed and put to work for common good. 

Deep questions include: “how,” faced with climate change, “does the world transition from reliance on fossil fuel technologies to alternatives?”  “How can societies harness “dual use” technologies (those with potential to do great good but also great harm), such as nuclear, biotech and cyber?”  and “how does the world begin to assess risks and opportunities, and develop rules for, dramatically developing new technologies-such as AI”? “Who will make rules- global government organizations?  Countries? ‘non state actors’?” And “what do we mean by technology?”

The class will draw on historical perspectives, case studies of ongoing challenges, consider lessons learned from past experience, and examine frameworks on which students may draw and build as they join in addressing 21st century global challenges.

Course Schedule

Ten Session Topics

  • Introduction and overview of class; introduction of teacher and students

  • Background: historical perspectives on technology in the service of humanity, and the roles of institutions and experts in its governance

  • Nuclear Power; the promise and unresolved challenges of the core 20th century “dual use technology”

  • Fossil Fuels/technologies: the challenge of “transitioning” from a world changing technology to needed alternatives

  • Biotechnology: a revolutionary new dual use technology, rooted in ancient traditions

  • Cybertechnology: ongoing global and country governance challenges

  • Technology assessment; an introduction to cultural perspectives (GMOs as case)

  • Technology Assessment: How do we think about deploying Geoengineering as means to greenhouse gas reduction?

  • Technology Assessment: how do we think about governing AI?

  • Conclusion: Lessons learned and looking forward

Learning Outcomes

  •    TBD