Archive for March 2017

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[ecrea] Call for papers, Workshop in St.Gallen: Telecommunication Politics in Authoritarian Contexts

Tue Mar 14 22:23:07 GMT 2017

*Workshop: Telecommunication Politics in Authoritarian Contexts*

University of St. Gallen, *9 and 10 May 2017*, St Gallen/Switzerland

The aim of the workshop “Telecommunications Politics in Authoritarian Contexts” is to understand whether Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) reduce a state’s capacity for repression by hindering the effective control of ICT or whether ICT allow repressive regimes to imposing further restrictions on individual liberties and human rights.

The increasing spread of ICT poses distinct challenges for political scientists. How should this collective resource be managed and governed? And, how have new ICT, which enable individuals to promptly and economically connect to others, transformed transnational and domestic politics? Yet, the discipline of political sciences has paid comparatively little attention to the Internet’s infrastructure and its political use and impact. Debates on Internet governance have taken place largely in other disciplines. Specifically, in the political science literature, the Internet is mostly treated as a ‘technical black box’ without recognizing systematic differences in its infrastructure.

The workshop aims at teaming scholars and practitioners working on the political use and effects of ICT (with a focus on authoritarian regimes), the role of private business and their accountability therein, as well as the architecture of the Internet. Bringing together experts with varying backgrounds, the workshop seeks to contribute to closing the scientific gap between political science concepts, on the one hand, and economic and technical aspects on the other. We invite contributions that deal with the political use and effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in authoritarian contexts.

We are especially welcoming papers that focus on:

- The business component of Internet (e.g., the global value chain of the Internet, companies and their interests);

- The infrastructure of Internet and its political dimension (e.g., technical approach to Internet access, the process of shut-downs and Internet access restrictions);

- The political use of ICT (e.g., how do states interfere with the net neutrality?).

The workshop will gather about 15 scholars for an in-depth debate over two days. We will be happy to receive proposals from scholars at any level – PhD students at an advanced stage, postdoctoral and more senior researchers alike. The organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses (within reasonable limits). Papers discussed at the workshop should have 15-20 pp. and present a substantial argument about the issue without the need to be publication-ready.

We are looking forward to receive your abstracts and meet you in the *University of St. Gallen* for the *9^th and 10^th of May 2017*.


Professor Cinzia Dal Zotto


*Abstract submission*


/March 31, 2017/

*Participants notification*


April 10, 2017

*Final paper submission*


/May 2, 2017 /

*2 days’ workshop*


/May 9 and 10, 2017/



(tina.freyburg /at/ <mailto:(tina.freyburg /at/>

Note: please send abstract (300-500 words) to (tina.freyburg /at/ <mailto:(tina.freyburg /at/>, describing: the main question or research problem; the theoretical framework; the research method; expected outcomes; relation with the specific topics addressed in this call.

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