About us

Sphere Transgression Watch is an initiative by the Digital Good Research Team, based at Radboud University’s iHub for Digitalization and Society. Digital Good is a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 804985). The project studies the effects of the growing influence of tech companies in the sphere of health and medicine and seeks to develop a normative framework for mitigating risks that can account for conflicting societal discourses about justice and the common good.

The website is inspired by Michael Walzer’s theory of justice, as developed in his seminal book, Spheres of Justice (1983). Walzer argues that social life is made up of different spheres that are organized around different conceptions of justice. In a just society, advantages in one sphere – such as wealth or political power – should not translate into advantages in another. Such translations consist in “sphere transgressions” and ultimately unjust and tyrannical societies. Currently, we are witnessing a series of sphere transgressions by tech companies, whereby the (legitimate) advantages they have accrued in the sphere of digital goods are translated into (illegitimate) advantages in other spheres.

Visualizing these transgressions in space and time is a means of grasping the breadth of this phenomenon and recording its many instances. We hope that other researchers will use the tool to help answer their own research questions and help it gain in accuracy and reach by adding instances of sphere transgressions.

Our partners

The Digital Good Research Team

Tamar Sharon Marthe Stevens Andrew Hoffman Steven Kraaijeveld Lotje Siffels



This website is made possible by

Bernard van Gastel Omar Javed

Website made by Just

Substantial contributors to the website: Giacomo Figà Talamanca, Marjolein Lanzing, Maciej Kaczmarek