The Internet and the State in an Interdisciplinary Perspective
During the last few decades, the Internet and online social networks have become an integral part of our public and private lives. As part of the Internet’s growing diffusion in society, its increased influence on international relations, and its impact on citizen-state relations, questions associated with the role and influence of states and non-state actors are being magnified within digitally networked contexts.
However, despite the increased scholarly interest in the Internet and its political consequences, most Internet-related research is scattered across different academic disciplines, resulting in an isolated and fragmented research concerning the Internet. In order to overcome this disciplinary fragmentation, – fragmentation that is contrary to the Internet’s character as a phenomenon that challenges classical disciplinary barriers – this research group investigates the relationships between states and the Internet from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. The goal of the group is to bring together graduate students from different disciplines who focus their research on the Internet and its social and political consequence.
During our meetings, the group will investigate the use of the Internet by three categories of actors: governments, non-state actors, and social movements working within state boundaries. This framework offers to promote a joint interdisciplinary research discussion into the Internet and its influence from a social sciences viewpoint. The first part of the forum will focus on the reading of leading texts investigating the Internet, its influence over the state and other political actors. In later stages, participants will have the opportunity to present their research projects in order to receive feedback on their work from the other participants in the group.