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[liberationtech] Call for Participation: Workshop on Internet Policy in Eastern Partnership Countries

Ben Wagner b at
Mon Feb 1 10:13:02 PST 2016

Apologies for cross-posting — Please circulate widely

Call for Participation

Workshop on Internet Policy in Eastern Partnership Countries

March 8, 2016, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)

How is internet policy developed in countries of the Eastern Partnership? Will shifting geopolitical alliances have an impact on internet policy in Ukraine or Armenia? What is the impact of economic factors on internet policy in those countries? What role does civil society play? On March 8, we will bring together scholars interested in answering those questions. 

If you would like to participate in this workshop, please send an email to event at <mailto:event at> with a CV or a short bio. If you are interested in presenting your research, please send a short abstract as well. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Travel support is available for limited number of participants. We will confirm your participation as soon as possible, but not later than February 15, 2016.

This workshop is addressed to all interested students and scholars of international relations, law, sociology, economics and the social sciences more broadly. It is also open to non-academic experts from civil society, think tanks, journalists, etc.

Link: <>   

About the workshop

To understand how global human rights challenges of the digital age, we need to know more how Internet policies are developed at the national level. We think it is particularly important to research internet policies in countries, which are at the borders of large geopolitical systems. At the periphery of the global system, internet policy is often not so strongly institutionalised as a result of which human rights norms are more in flux. 

At this workshop, we want to take a closer look at internet polices in the Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Torn between two large geopolitical block, those six countries are very vulnerable to the growing mistrust between Brussels and Moscow. Strong trade and investment links to both Russia and Europe force them to make decisions, which can be politically hard and economically costly. 

Internet policy is one of the areas most affected by competing human rights discourses and trade interests. Our working hypothesis is that geopolitics will affect how Internet policy is developed, but can be mitigated by other economic or social factors, such as the strength of actors from private sector or civil society. 

The workshop will be divided into four thematic blocks:

Internet policy in Eastern Partnership: While there might be similarities across the six countries, each of them has a unique landscape of internet policies and distinct process of developing them. How is internet policy actually made in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine?

Keynote: Professor Andrii Paziuk, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Geopolitics and Internet Governance. In global debates about internet policy, the EU has strongly backed the multistakeholder model, while Russia has been one of the strongest supporters of a multilateral model, which emphasises sovereignty of states. Will shifting geopolitical alliances have an impact on internet policy in countries like Armenia or the Ukraine?

Speaker: Dr. Andrea Calderaro, Cardiff University.

Civil Society and Human Rights: NGOs and experts who participate in Internet policy-development are often highly interconnected on the global level. They belong to ‘communities of practice’ serving as mediators of norms and practices between the global and national policy levels. What role does civil society play in embedding human rights in internet policy in Eastern Partnership countries?

Speaker: Tatyana Lokot, Merrill College of Journalism.

Digital Economy and Trade: The European Union intends to extend Digital Single Market to the Eastern Partnership, while Russia remains a key investor in the region. At the same time, the influence of multinational corporations is growing. What is the impact of economic factors on internet policy in those countries?

Speaker: tbc 

This workshop is organized by the Centre for the Internet and Human Rights ( in collaboration with the B/ORDERS IN MOTION Centre ( both at European University Viadrina. CIHR is a vibrant hub for academic research about technology and society at Viadrina. Our goal is to inform current public and academic debates by producing high-quality research grounded in theory and empirical data. You can find out more information about the project on CIHR website: partnership-countries/

Dr. Ben Wagner
Centre for Internet & Human Rights
European University Viadrina <>

Twitter: @benwagne_r
Office: +49 335 5534 2832
Mobile: +49 170 110 2881
GPG Key Id: 494604B0A3479DBB

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