Cultural regulation of disruptive technologies: Lessons from orthodox religious communities

Author Identifier

Nachshon Goltz

ORCID : 0000-0002-9846-4713

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics & Policy


Association of Transportation Law Professionals


School of Business and Law




Dowdeswell, T., & Goltz, N. (2021). Cultural regulation of disruptive technologies: Lessons from orthodox religious communities. Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics & Policy, 88(1), 33-44. https://www.atlp.org/publications


This paper looks at the cultural regulation of complex, disruptive technologies, focusing on the adoption of such technologies by Orthodox Jewish communities. We fi rst discuss some of the pitfalls of traditional and participatory approaches to governing such technologies. We then explore examples of the successful cultural regulation of such technologies, including the Internet, computers, and smartphones. Orthodox religious communities were able to successfully integrate these technologies – deriving some of the social and economic benefi ts they have to off er, without disrupting traditional values, religious observances, or social cohesion. We draw out several principles for eff ective cultural regulation, namely that such regulation is driven by individual users in the community, is responsive to local values, needs and modes of living, and is driven by a high level of understanding about the technology. We then discuss the issues involved in regulating automated vehicles and argue that cultural regulation can be used to govern of automated vehicles, as well. The paper ends with a call to further explore the regulation of disruptive technologies through culture, and the importance of submitting new technologies to spiritual inquiry and ethical governance.

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