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ReDigIm: Redistributive Imaginaries

Close up photograph of a chain link fence with blue sky in the background
Close up photograph of a chain link fence with blue sky in the background
Vibration by Rodrigo Valla is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Research and knowledge exchange project investigating meanings and practices of redistribution in the context of digitalization.

Project duration: 1 Nov 2022 – 31 Oct 2025

Project summary

ReDigIm: Redistributive Imaginaries: digitalization, culture and prosocial contribution is a 3-year research and knowledge exchange project delivered by a consortium of five academic partners and five cooperation partners. It interrogates the social and institutional practices that facilitate prosocial contribution in contemporary European societies, namely taxation, philanthropy, charity and mutual aid. Digitalisation processes are rapidly reconfiguring access to and engagement with these redistributive mechanisms, initiating more social forms of payment and contribution.

The emergence of new modes of contribution fostered by digital platforms point to novel forms of participation, solidarity and care for others, but they are also disruptive of established state-mandated forms of social provisioning. Redistributive imaginaries provide collective, common-sense ways of understanding the relationship between economic contribution and social solidarity: they give meaning to the structures which enable citizens to make prosocial contributions.  

This project will interrogate the role of the digital in emergent redistributive forms and imaginaries. By analysing five national contexts representing different welfare state models and philanthropic traditions (UK, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and Montenegro), it will consider the implications of digital transformation for the future of prosocial contribution in Europe.


ReDigIm is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), the Agencia Estatal de Investigación (Spain), the Academy of Finland and the Swiss National Science Foundation, under CHANSE ERA-NET Co-fund programme, which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no 101004509.



In order to understand the role of the digital in emergent redistributive imaginaries, ReDigIm will explore citizens’ engagement with digital opportunities for prosocial contribution. The project will examine how the digital is constructed as an object of public discourse; how it is enacted in the form of digital tools and encounters with those tools; and how it is made meaningful and put to use in people’s everyday lives. Further to this, the project will explore the implications of emergent prosocial dynamics for the future of welfare states in Europe.


The project aims will be addressed through qualitative research that foregrounds the role of cultural, signifying practices in economic processes and practices. The project’s mixed-methods approach incorporates discourse analysis, affordance analysis of digital platforms and ethnography of everyday prosocial practices. The investigation will significantly advance the study of economic imaginaries, and it will deliver evidence-based case studies and scenarios of value to a range of stakeholder audiences in civil society, government and business.


Digital/Organizing, Switzerland

Finnish Development NGOs (Fingo), Finland

Banner image credits: Vibration by Rodrigo Valla is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0