Dr Sebastián Lehuedé

Dr Sebastián Lehuedé

PhD Alumni

Department of Media and Communications

Connect with me

English, Spanish
Key Expertise
digital technologies, data governance, decolonial theory, Latin America

About me


Title: Governing Data in Modernity/Coloniality: Astronomy Data in the Atacama Desert and the Struggle for Collective Autonomy (2021)

Supervisors: Dr Alison Powell and Professor Nick Couldry

Dr Sebastián Lehuedé is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, and a Technology & Human Rights Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in Data, Networks and Society from the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics (LSE). Sebastián was recently granted the 2022 Association of Internet Researchers Best Dissertation Award.  

Sebastián’s research focuses on the governance of digital technologies, which he approaches from a global social justice perspective inspired by Latin American decolonial theory. His current project examines the geopolitics of digital rights, interrogating the extent to which the work of activists in Latin America can speak to the visions and needs of the local context vis-à-vis discourses and funding emanating from the North. For this project, he established collaborations with digital rights activists and hackers in Chile and Mexico. Sebastián’s doctoral thesis examined public, private and research initiatives in Chile aimed at taking advantage of the vast volumes of data produced by the international observatories constructed in the Atacama Desert. In this case, Sebastián put forward a framework of data governance based on the notion of autonomía circulating among social movements and Indigenous communities in Latin America. 

Sebastián’s research and writing have appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, such as Information, Communication & Society and New Media & Society. He has also written knowledge exchange pieces in outlets such as Open Democracy and Progressive International.  

Sebastián worked as a research assistant at Virt-EU, an interdisciplinary EU-funded project on the ethics of the Internet of Things, and as a Research Fellow at Derechos Digitales, a digital rights organisation with a Latin American scope. Through his teaching, Sebastián is an Associate Fellow of AdvanceHE. He is also a member of Tierra Común, a network of scholars and activists opposing data colonialism. 

Expertise Details

digital technologies; data governance; decolonial theory; Latin America


Journal Articles

Lehuedé, S. (2022). When Friction Becomes the Norm: Antagonism, Discourse and Planetary Data Turbulence. New Media & Society.  

Powell, A., Ustek-Spilda, F., Lehuedé, S., & Shklovski, I. (2022). Addressing ethical gaps in ‘Technology for Good’: Foregrounding care and capabilities. Big Data & Society. 

Lehuedé, S. (2022). Territories of Data: Ontological Divergences in the Growth of Data Infrastructure. Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society. 

Lehuedé, S. (2021). The Coloniality of Collaboration: Sources of Epistemic Obedience in Data-Intensive Astronomy in Chile. Information, Communication & Society. Link:  

Ustek-Spilda, F., Vega, D., Magnani, M., Rossi, L., Shklovski, I., Lehuedé, S., & Powell, A. (2021). A Twitter-Based Study of the European Internet of Things. Information Systems Frontiers, 23(1), 135–149. 


Conferences (Selection)

2022. When Friction Becomes the Norm: Antagonism, Discourse and Planetary Data Turbulence. Data Power Conference, University of Sheffield, Panel ‘Data and Information Circulation’. 

2022. Speaker at the ‘Data, Law, and Decolonisation’ Workshop chaired by Siddarth Peter de Souza (Tilburg University). Data Power Conference, University of Sheffield. 

2022. Data Disobedience and Artificial Intelligence: The ‘Deluge’ of Astronomy Data in Chile [in Spanish]. International Open Data Congress, Polytechnical University of Valencia, Spain. 

2022. Territories of Data: Ontological Divergences in the Growth of Data Infrastructure. International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Paris [Poster Exhibition].


Blogs and Websites

Lehuedé, S., Caamaño, F., Keller, F., Zuleta, A., Peña, P., Saavedra, J., Avendaño, L., Freeman, F., & Gónzalez, C. (2022). The Digital Commons in Chile. Open Democracy.  

Lehuedé, S., Filimonov, K., & Higgins, K. (2020). Dissent & Democracy in Covid-19. Progressive International. 

Lehuedé, S. (2020). Can start-ups fix the ethical problems of technology? Media@LSE Blog. 

Lehuedé, S. (2019). What Violence and Whose Responsibility? Critical Questions in Social Uprisings in Chile, Hong Kong and Lebanon. Media@LSE Blog.