Dr. Vincent Mosco

​Vincent Mosco (Ph.D. Harvard) is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Queen's University and Distinguished Professor of Communication, New Media Centre, Fudan University, Shanghai. At Queen's, Dr. Mosco held the Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society. His research interests include the political economy of communication, the social impacts of information technology, and the future of cities. 

Dr. Mosco is author or editor of twenty-six books including The Digital Sublime (MIT, 2004) and The Political Economy of Communication (Sage, 2009). His 2014 To the Cloud (Routledge) is the first in a trilogy on the social impacts of new technologies. The second is Becoming Digital: Toward a Post-Internet Society (Emerald, 2017), which addressed the convergence of cloud computing, big data analytics, and the internet of things. The third is the 2019 The Smart City in a Digital World (Emerald), which takes up the political economic and cultural significance of the global movement to apply advanced technologies to manage and govern urban regions. Dr. Mosco’s participation in research groups in Brazil and in China led to the publication in 2019 of two research collections to which he contributed and which he co-edited.

Dr. Mosco serves on the editorial boards of academic journals throughout the world and has held research positions in the U.S. government with the White House Office of Telecommunication Policy, the National Research Council and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment and in Canada with the Ministry of Communication. A founding member of the Union for Democratic Communication, Dr. Mosco has also chaired the Political Economy section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research and was a research associate with the Harvard Program on Information Resources Policy. In addition, he has served as a consultant to trade unions and worker organizations in Canada and the United States. 

In 2004 Dr. Mosco received the Dallas W. Smythe Award for outstanding achievement in communication research. The Digital Sublime won the 2005 Olson Award for outstanding book in the field of rhetoric and cultural studies. In 2014 the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication honoured Dr. Mosco and his partner in life and in research, Dr. Catherine McKercher, with the Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award for achievement and leadership in research and activism. In 2019 Dr. Mosco was given the C. Edwin Baker award for outstanding scholarship in media, markets, and democracy from the International Communication Association.​

Comments on The Smart City in a Digital World 

'This is an insightful, informative book that takes a critical, informed look into a technology-driven development from a social sense perspective.' -- Bob Emmerson, IoT Now Transport

'The Smart City in a Digital World is already a classic book summarizing and adapting Vincent Mosco’s thinking to the new mythology of contemporary societies: smart cities. The smartness of our cities is not made by people, but by technologies. The smartness is an obliged future all the cities should aim for. The smartness is a political idea created by a mix of business interests, surveillance capitalism, and neoliberism. Smart cities are, at the end, another mythology brought by digitalization with strong effects on the ways humans live together in big cities. But another way is possible and Mosco, in the last pages, proposes a manifesto for the smart cities, placing humans at the center of them.' -- Prof. dr. Gabriele Balbi, Associate Professor in Media Studies, USI Università della Svizzera italiana

'This is a book that challenges the current excitement about ‘smart cities’, a buzzword that Vincent Mosco critically dissects as another of the ‘sublime visions’, like ‘garden cities’ and ‘postmodern cities’, that continually resurface as urban mythologies… an important source for urban studies and communications scholars as well as urban planners, technology students, sociologists and political economists and others concerned about the future of cities as spaces for people and not just for private profit. The author describes democratic alternatives to the view that what makes a city smart is only technology, arguing that people make cities smart and that smart cities begin with a vibrant democracy, support for public space, and a commitment to citizens' control over technology. He integrates discussion of climate change into the discussion of urban issues, controversies, and alternatives to the smart city concept. He draws on case studies from around the world to discuss various meanings of smart cities; the history of the smart city concept; technologies involved in the infrastructure of smart cities and how they are increasingly integrated into urban life; smart city governance by the state, private businesses, and citizens; myths, imaginaries, and ideologies of cities and what they might become; and the problems and potential of smart cities.'

Gerald Sussman, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

What's New:

Three books published in 2019:

The Smart City in a Digital World. London: Emerald, 2019. https://bit.ly/2TRs2iS

Critical Communication Research: Western Perspectives, edited with Cao Jin, was published by the Shanghai Translation Publishing House, 2019.

The Political Economy of Journalism: New (and old) Logics of Production and Consumption​, edited with Jacqueline Dorado, Denise Lopes, Juliana Teixeira and Renan Marques,   Teresina: EDUFPI. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V9SQTMW/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_IZGlDbGHGPCER, 2019.

​Agreed to co-edit a book with Professor Cao Jin of Fudan University on new media and neo-liberalism to be published in English for use by students and scholars across China, September, 2020.

“Green Technology in the Smart City,” topos, No. 112, pp. 64-65, September, 2020. 

Co-director and lecturer, Ninth Academic Camp for Graduate Students in China, Fudan University, Shanghai, August 18-27, 2020.

Accepted the invitation of ​topos: The International Magazine of Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Urban Development ​to write an article on green technologies and smart cities, June 2020.

Completed a review of the book Talk Radio's America for the journal IEEE Technology and Society, May, 2020.

Accepted the invitation of the Center for Free Expression. Ryerson University, Toronto to join the CFE Digital Cities Advisory Panel (DCAP) which contributes to digital cities policy development that advances the public interest, primarily in relation to human rights, civil liberties and democratic governance, May 2020.

Participated in a panel discussion on The Smart City in a Digital World, hosted by the Centre for Free Expression, Toronto, May 13, 2020, here is the video: https://cfe.ryerson.ca/key-resources/podcasts/cfe-virtual-forum-series-smart-city-digital-world

Review of The Smart City in a Digital World ​in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research​, Vol. 44, Issue 1, January, 2020 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-2427.12883

The Smart City in a Digital World was named one of the best books to read about Smart Cities in 2020, January, 2020 ​https://bookauthority.org/books/new-smart-cities-books

Completed the preface to the Chinese language edition of The Smart City in a Digital World to be published in Shanghai by Truth and Wisdom Press and translated by Sisu Xu of Fudan University, January 2020.

​NEW PUBLICATION: “The Laboring of Artificial Intelligence: A Review,” IEEE Technology and Society, December, 2019, pp.11-13.

“Humans at the Centre of Smart Cities,” in Crisis Response Journal, 4(4), October, 2019, pp.66-69.


"The World's Cities are Becoming Singapore," in Coda, interview with Vincent Mosco and overview of my book The Smart City in a Digital World, September 2019. https://codastory.com/authoritarian-tech/at-newsletter/the-worlds-cities-are-becoming-singapore/

"A Smart City does not have to become a Surveillance City, but it requires a strong public commitment to privacy rights," BBC Science Focus​, September 2019.


Publication of the Hungarian language edition of The Smart City in a Digital World, Budapest: Pallas Athene Books, September 2019.

Review of The Smart City in a Digital World         https://www.iotglobalnetwork.com/iotdir/2019/08/29/the-smart-city-in-a-digital-world-20852/
September 2019

My article on smart city surveillance for BBC Science Focus https://www.sciencefocus.com/future-technology/a-smart-city-does-not-have-to-become-a-surveillance-city-but-it-requires-a-strong-public-commitment-to-privacy-rights/​, September 26, 2019