A post-human “transformation thesis” has emerged which posits that global politics is being radically altered by digital technologies and datafication. There is a polemical tendency to generalise about macro-level revolutions in both the techniques of governance and knowledge production across different political spheres, ranging from international security to development, humanitarianism and human rights. By instead applying a meso-level lens on global politics, this article cautions against excessive generalisations about epistemic transformations. It does so by emphasising the ways in which technological changes are mediated through field-specific struggles. This point is illustrated by demonstrating the absence of a radical data revolution within the field of global human rights advocacy. Through a sociological analysis of leading human rights NGOs and their epistemic cultures, it shows how that the field's humanistic sub-culture limits the adoption of novel digital- and data-centric practices.
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