Call for Contributions
Deadline: 15 June 2016
The Internet Rules, But How?
An STS take on doing Internet governance
Preconference workshop – AoIR 2016
5 October 2016 – Berlin, Germany
Dmitry Epstein, Christian Katzenbach, Francesca Musiani, Julia Pohle
Over the last decade, the regulation and governance of the Internet at the national and international level have attracted growing attention by policy-makers and researchers. This is particularly the case in post-Snowden times which increased distrust of formal government institutions and their ‘dangerous liaisons’ with the private sector.
Traditionally, Internet governance (IG) research focussed on new institutions that have been explicitly established to negotiate the Internet’s technical coordination or deliberate Internet-related public policy issues. Recently, authors have criticised this institutional focus, including a small group of scholars who draw on perspectives from Science and Technology Studies (STS), calling to rethink and substantiate questions of ordering and governing the net. Their contributions highlight the day-to-day, mundane practices that constitute IG, take into account the plurality and ‘networkedness’ of devices and arrangements involved in the governance of information technology, and investigate the invisibility, pervasiveness, and apparent agency of the digital infrastructure itself.
IG, in this view, consists of practices and controversies of design, regulation, and use of material infrastructures. Accordingly, the observation and investigation of practices require different, innovative research approaches, which delve into the variety of ways in which digital uses and practices may be an integral part of today’s IG. In this way, STS-informed perspectives are increasingly instrumental for challenging and expanding our understanding and for informing our examination of ordering and governing processes in the digital realm.
This preconference workshop seeks to nurture the growing interest in researching and observing IG from an STS-informed perspective. More broadly, the workshop aims to facilitate a discussion and an exchange of perspectives about the intertwined roles of design, infrastructures, and informal communities of practice in IG.
For the full-day workshop, we are inviting contributions for four sessions:
Please submit your contributions no later than June 15 to email@example.com. We expect extended abstracts for sessions 1-2 and position papers for sessions 3-4, max. 800 words. Registration at the AoIR 2016 conference is necessary in order to participate at the workshop. Notification will be sent out in mid-July so that participants can book Early Bird Tickets for the conference before August 1.
This workshop is part of a broader effort of advancing an STS-informed conversation on Internet governance. It builds on the successful panel on STS perspectives on IG that took place during AoIR 2015 in Phoenix and a special issue of the Internet Policy Review to be published in early September 2016.
The workshop is supported by the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), the Internet Policy Review of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG, Berlin), the Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Institute for Communication Sciences (CNRS/Paris-Sorbonne/UPMC, Paris).