The development of data driven governance has provoked substantial angst and uncertainty everywhere. There is good reason for this angst, but perhaps not for the usual reasons conventionally advanced. Data driven governance systems (including the quite ambitious project of Chinese social credit) grounded in accountability and managed through the self-reflexive operations of an analytics that incorporates social, economic, political or religious objectives through algorithm represents a new form of governance, with its own language, its own structures, and its own ecologies. It exists still within traditional systems of law and regulation and was originally understood as a technique for the implementation of the policies and objectives of those systems. Those traditional systems have developed their own language, modalities, ideologies and structures within which the integrity of the system can be maintained. Yet in this "new era" of governance, data driven governance already exhibits signs of producing its own language, its own structures and its own modalities for enhancing and protecting system integrity within ideological parameters in the context of which the traditional language and forms of constitutional political government operated through complex bureaucracies intertwined with judiciaries and popular representative organs may n longer be particularly relevant.
This "new era" of governance thus not not necessarily call for yet more efforts to "tame" data driven governance within the cage of traditional government and its structures and methods of operation. Instead it may require the development of new sensibilities, new interpretive language, and the recognition of new classes of system operators whose injection into the process of governance may profoundly affect the way societies understand and engage with governance organs. This trend may be understood (and encouraged) within those organizations at the vanguard of these changes (within vanguard enterprises in the West (and public security apparatus) and embedded within certain organs of collective organization in China). Yet among those deeply embedded within conventional governance-power systems it has produced resistance or efforts at domestication, which pepper scholarly journals and the regulatory efforts of state and international organs. Yet rather than or in addition to resistance and domestication, it may now be time to turn to the business of building principles of Demokratie, Sozialstaat, Bundesstaat und Rechtsstaat into and through the language of data and data analytics to ensure that algorithmic governance, like that of the law-regulatory systems that preceded it, will operate under appropriate ideological constraint. And if the politician, the lawyer, and the bureaucrat will not engage in these projects, then it is likely that the engineer, the econometrician and manager may. Power relations will not be the same thereafter.
 W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law and International Affairs, Pennsylvania State University; Board Member, Foundation for Law and International Affairs; Coalition for Peace & Ethics. The ideas in this essay was first presented at the Conference: The Chinese Social Credit System 2017, held at Shanghai Jiaotong University 23 September 2017. It draws on and expands the essay produced for that event and published as (Cutting-edge measures, assessments, and rewards: The challenge of establishing a social credit system in China and the West?), “互联网金融法律评论（jiflsjtu）”微信公众平台。前沿栏目·第三季第21篇（总第182篇）. (Shanghai Jiaotong University “Internet Financial Law Review (jiflsjtu). My thanks to Flora Sapio (University of Naples), Sun Ping and Tong Zhiwei (华东政法大学英文版 ; East China University of Political Science and Law), and Duoqi Xu, Shanghai Jiao Tong University KoGuan School of Law; Director, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Research Center for Internet Law Innovation for their very helpful comments on earlier versions of this draft and for their support and engagement in this project.