Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Professor Scott Mulligan (Orwell Visiting Fellow)

Professor Scott Mulligan is an Orwell Visiting Fellow in 2024-25.

Scott Mulligan, J.D., LL.M., is a Senior Teaching Professor of International Affairs at Skidmore College.  A lawyer by training, he teaches courses on intellectual property, information privacy, media ethics, entertainment law, national security law, international trade and global illicit markets.  His research involves examinations of international intellectual property, innovation policy and global trade issues, particularly with respect to incentive frameworks for collaboratively-driven business ventures and unorthodox business models, as well as of legal and ethical uses of customer, partner and employee personal information found in large datasets.

IAS Project
Undergraduate students, and indeed many segments of broader society, are largely unaware of the pervasiveness of surveillance systems and often blithely dismissive of the erosion of privacy in their lives.  I hope to study and devise replicable and transferable pedagogies for such students to appreciate both intellectually and experientially the privacy paradox, in which many state a genuine preference for greater privacy in their personal and business affairs, but then act in ways that actually undermine their own privacy (Swartz, 2000; Acquisti, 2004).  I plan to study the differences in how undergraduate students explore, understand, learn and internalize issues of privacy and surveillance in heavily-surveilled central London, as compared to their experiences on a relatively-unsurveilled suburban home campus.  Employing multiple pedagogical approaches that illustrate how societal expectations of privacy have evolved over time and how these expectations and norms are translated into sociological, anthropological, legal, and technological frameworks, students in an undergraduate seminar on information privacy are asked to consider how modern surveillance technologies help perpetuate racial stereotypes, drive ethnic divisions and entrench systemic inequities, especially with marginalized communities.  Students studying these subjects explore the implications that the widespread deployment of surveillance technologies have on life in a modern, democratic society.