Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Call for Proposals: Promoting Sustainable Digital Entrepreneurship in Francophone West and Central Africa

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) is pleased to announce a call for proposals for a study on the topic of “Promoting Sustainable Digital Entrepreneurship in Francophone West and Central Africa”. 

With a focus on the topics of entrepreneurship, platform regulation, and the use of digitalisation for climate resiliency, HIIG’s Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Global Digital Transformation (SET) research project works closely with local stakeholders to build application-oriented expertise and to create an international knowledge community. Against this backdrop, the study aims to promote sustainable digital entrepreneurship in Benin, and in Francophone West and Central Africa more broadly. The study will focus on the contextual (e.g., institutional, social, and technological) barriers to sustainable digital entrepreneurship as well as identify strategies and tactics entrepreneurs can use to navigate these challenges. Proposals from established and early career scholars are welcome. 

The full call for proposals with further information about the project and possible research questions can be found on our website, both in English and in French

General Information 

  • Budget: EUR 16,000 (gross) 
  • Scope of the study: maximum 15,000 words 
  • Study should be written in French
  • Timeframe for conducting the study: July to November 2022 
  • Mid-term report on the current state of research up to September 2022
  • Final feedback loop after editorial and academic review

All interested applicants are invited to submit their proposal (maximum two pages) and a short curriculum vitae through the website (EN and FR) by Sunday, 8 May 2022. For questions please contact Marie Blüml ( Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process latest by the end of May 2022.

Deadline: 8 May 2022
Internet Policy Review
Call for Papers: Future-proofing the city: A human rights-based approach to the governance of algorithmic, biometric and smart city technologies

Find the Original Call for Papers here.

The research project titled ‘Long-term Human Rights Risks of Smart City Technologies’, the Legal Tech Lab of the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki*, the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at York University and the City Institute at York University invite you to submit abstracts for the special issue ‘Future-Proofing the City: A Human Rights-Based Approach to the Governance of Algorithmic, Biometric and Smart City Technologies’ in Internet Policy Review.

Since the early 2000s, smart city policies have aimed to make urban spaces safer, more sustainable and innovative with the help of big data, biometric technologies and, more recently, artificial intelligence (AI). In pursuit of the same goals of safety and economic efficiency, the public sector has been rapidly adopting biometric and automated decision-making systems in areas ranging from law enforcement to transportation to healthcare. These two interlocking trends have been subject to a heated public controversy over the smart city technologies subjecting citizens to surveillance, nudging and algorithmic governance, which may threaten their human and fundamental rights (Galdon-Clavell 2013; Jewell, 2018; Joh, 2019; Ranchordas, 2020; Monahan, 2018; Sadowski, 2020). Scholars have identified certain commercial and public smart city projects as advancing gender discrimination and land dispossession practices (Datta, 2015, 2020; Kitchin, 2014; Greenfield, 2013). Smart city technologies may facilitate surveillance creep (Frischmann & Selinger, 2020; Kitchin, 2020) and risk chilling effects on freedoms of movement, association and thought (Solove, 2006; Penney, 2021; Ahmad & Dethy, 2019). Implementation of emotion recognition technology in the streets further undermines our rights to human dignity and autonomy (Valcke et al., 2021). In the worst case scenario, they may enable digital repression (Feldstein, 2021; Williams, 2021).

The human rights–based approach (HRBA) (Donahoe & Metzker, 2019; Scassa, 2020; Smuha, 2020) is of acute theoretical and practical relevance both in the context of research on smart cities and in the field of AI ethics, yet the dialogue between these fields is rather limited (Brauneis & Goodman, 2018; Jewell, 2018, Zambonelli et al., 2018). While sustainability remains a central driver behind smart city policies both in the European Union and the United States (European Commission, 2020; Moving FIRST Act 2021-2022), a growing body of research points towards the wider human rights implications of these initiatives (Reuter, 2019, 2020; Davis, 2020; Brown, 2019). Scholars have supported the application of human rights as a normative framework for governing AI throughout its life cycle, to compensate for the vagueness and unenforceability of AI ethics frameworks (McGregor et al., 2019; Yeung et al., 2020; Cobbe et al., 2020). Other promising developments in this area include human rights–based designs in AI (Aizenberg & van den Hoven, 2020), impact assessment methods (Mantelero & Esposito, 2021; Castets-Renard, 2021) and audits (Council of Europe, 2017).

The European Union has pioneered the HRBA with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which safeguards the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects with measures such as data protection by-design and impact assessments (GDPR Arts. 1, 25, and 35.) The EU’s AI Act proposal extends this risk-based HRBA (Yeung & Bygrave, 2021) in the realm of artificial intelligence (AIA Arts. 7(1)(b),14(2), 62, 65, 67), heavily relying on standardisation (AIA Art. 40; Borgesius & Veale, 2011; Ebers, 2022). Protection of fundamental rights is also central in the EU’s Digital Services Act proposal addressing the work of online platforms (DSA para. 41, Arts. 1 (2)(b) and 26 (1)(b); Moore & Tambini, 2021, 1-17).


While the GDPR and other policies seek to mitigate a range of potential harms associated with smart cities, the compliance with and enforceability of these regulations remain an issue. In addition, these proposed regulations do not sufficiently address the collective harms associated with artificial intelligence (Smuha, 2021; Leslie et al., 2021; Yeung, 2019). Another question is whether the initiatives put forward to secure fundamental rights in the digital realm (European Commission, 2022; Heikkilä, 2022) account for the issues that arise at the interface of digital and spatial dimensions in a smart city?

The objective of this special issue is to gain a holistic understanding of the ethical and human rights implications of the algorithmic, biometric and smart city technologies that have been quietly invading our streets. We intend to stimulate a productive dialogue between researchers studying smart cities, AI ethics and regulation, digital surveillance and platform economy in a variety of disciplines, including science and technology studies, media studies, law, urban studies, critical algorithm and data studies, surveillance studies, political science, computer science, philosophy and gender studies.

Besides discussing the fundamental rights such as data protection, privacy and non-discrimination, we invite a critical reflection on the effectiveness of the existing human rights framework in addressing other challenges associated with the digitisation of public spaces and services. Submissions taking into account the temporal dimension of human rights protection in smart cities are encouraged. While the special issue primarily covers the geographical areas of Europe and North America, we invite contributions discussing solutions for other jurisdictions, where they build a dialogue with the European developments, such as the fundamental rights–driven technology regulation.


  • Ethical and human rights risks associated with algorithmic, biometric and smart city technologies, including gaps in existing human rights frameworks

  • Municipalities’ means to ensure and influence the protection of human rights

  • Human rights adherence by design and through impact assessments and audits

  • Human rights–driven regulation of AI and data, including fields such as corporate human rights due diligence and public procurement

  • Human rights adherence through governance and standardisation

  • Citizens’ means to reclaim their human rights in a smart city, including civil disobedience

  • Using technology to protect human rights and achieve the SDG 11 of sustainable cities and communities


Alina Wernick
Anna Artyushina


21 March 2022: Release of the Call for papers

31 May: Deadline for the expression of interest and abstract submissions (500 word abstracts) directly to

24 June: Feedback / Invitation to submit full text submissions

26 August: A thematic workshop (optional) held jointly by the Legal Tech Lab, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki (in-person or remote participation)

18 September: Full text submissions deadline. All details on text submissions can be found under:

31 November: Authors receive comprehensive peer review and feedback

31 December: Final submissions

15 March 2023: Publication of the special issue

*) The initiative is funded by a project grant from the Kone Foundation, Finland (2020-2023) and an event-specific Catalyst Grant from the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities.


Aizenberg, E. & van den Hoven, J. (2020). Designing for human rights in AI. Big Data & Society, 7(2), 1-14.

Ahmad, W. & Dethy, E. (2019). Preventing Surveillance Cities: Developing a Set of Fundamental Privacy Provisions. Journal of Science Policy & Governance, 15(1), 1-11.

Brauneis, R. & Goodman, E. (2018). Algorithmic transparency for the smart city. Yale Journal of Law & Technology, 20(1), 103-176.

Brown, T. (2019). Human Rights in the Smart City: Regulating Emerging Technologies in City Places. In L. Reins (ed.), Regulating New Technologies in Uncertain Times (pp. 47-65). Asser Press.

Veale, M., & Borgesius, F. Z. (2021). Demystifying the Draft EU Artificial Intelligence Act—Analysing the good, the bad, and the unclear elements of the proposed approach. Computer Law Review International, 22(4), 97-112.

Castets-Renard C. (2021) Human Rights and Algorithmic Impact Assessment for Predictive Policing. In H.W. Micklitz, O. Pollicino, A. Reichman, A. Simoncini, G. Sartor, G. De Gregorio (eds.), Constitutional Challenges in Algorithmic Society (pp. 93 – 110). Cambridge University Press.

Cobbe, J., Lee, M.S.A., Janssen, H. & Singh, J. (2020). Centering the Law in the Digital State. IEEE Computer, 53(10), 47-58.

Council of Europe (2017). Algorithms and Human Rights: Study on the human rights dimensions of automated data processing techniques and possible regulatory implications. The Council of Europe.

Donahoe, E., & Metzger, M. (2019). Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights. Journal of Democracy, 30(2), 115-126.

Datta A. (2015). New urban utopias of postcolonial India: ‘Entrepreneurial urbanization in Dholera smart city, Gujarat. Dialogues in Human Geography 5 (1), 3-22.

Datta A. (2020). The “Smart Safe City”: Gendered Time, Speed, and Violence in the Margins of India’s Urban Age. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 110 (5) 1318-1334

Davis, M. (2020). Get Smart: Human Rights and Urban Intelligence. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 47, 971-991.

European Commission (2020). European Missions. 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. Implementation Plan.

European Commission (2022) European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade. COM 28 Final.

Galdon-Clavell, G. (2013) (Not so) smart cities?: The drivers, impact and risks of surveillance-enabled smart environments. Science and Public Policy, 40, 717-723.

Greenfield, A. (2013) Against the Smart City. New York: Do Publications.

Feldstein, S. (2021). The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology Is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance. Oxford University Press.

Frischmann, B., & Selinger, E. (2018). Re-engineering humanity. Cambridge University Press.

Ebers, Martin, Standardizing AI – The Case of the European Commission’s Proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act (August 6, 2021).

Heikkilä, M. (2021, December 8). AI: Decoded: The world’s first AI treaty – Timnit Gebru’s new gig – The European Parliament starts work on the AI Act. Politico.

Jewell, M. (2018). Contesting the decision: living in (and living with) the smart city. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 32(2-3), 210-229.

Joh, E. (2019). Policing the smart city. International Journal of Law in Context, 15, 177-182.

Kitchin, R. (2014) The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism. GeoJournal, 79: 1–14.

Kitchin R. (2020) Civil liberties or public health, or civil liberties and public health? Using surveillance technologies to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Space and Polity 24 (3) 362-381.

Leslie, D., Burr, C., Aitken, M., Cowls, J., Katell, M. & Briggs, M. (2021). Artificial intelligence, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law: a primer. The Council of Europe.

Mantelero, A. & Esposito, S. (2021). An Evidence-Based methodology for Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) in the Development of AI Data-Intensive Systems. Computer Law & Security Review, 1-57.

Monahan, T. (2018). The Image of the Smart City: Surveillance Protocols and Social Inequality. In Y. Watanabe (ed.), Handbook of Cultural Security (pp. 210-226). Edward Elgar.

Moore, M., Tambini,D. (2021). Regulating Big Tech. Policy Responses to Digital Dominance. Oxford University Press.

McGregor, L., Murray, D., & Ng, V. (2019). International human rights law as a framework for algorithmic accountability. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 68(2), 309-343.

Penney, J. (2021). Understanding Chilling Effects. 106 Minnesota Law Review 101, 101-191.

Ranchordás, S. (2020). Nudging Citizens through Technology in Smart Cities. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 34(3), 254-276.

Reuter, T.K. (2019). Human rights and the city: Including marginalized communities in urban development and smart cities. Journal of Human Rights, 18(4), 382-402.

Reuter, T.K. (2020). Smart City Visions and Human Rights: Do They Go Together? Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, 1-23. Harvard Kennedy School.

Sadowski, J. (2020). Too Smart. How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World. MIT Technology Review Press.

Scassa, T. (2020) A Human Rights-Based Approach to Data Protection in Canada. In E. Dubois & F. Martin-Bariteau (eds.), Citizenship in a Connected Canada: A research and Policy Agenda (pp. 173-188). University of Ottawa Press.

Smuha, N.A. (2020). Beyond a Human Rights-based approach to AI Governance: Promise, Pitfalls, Plea. Philosophy & Technology, 1-18.

Smuha, N.A. (2021). Beyond the Individual: Governing AI’s Societal Harm. Internet Policy review, 10(3), 1-32.

Solove, D. J. (2005). A taxonomy of privacy. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 154, 477-560.

Moving FIRST Act. S.652.117th Congress (2021-2022).

Valcke, P., Clifford, D. & Dessers, V. (2021). Constitutional Challenges in the Emotional AI Era. In H.W. Micklitz, O. Pollicino, A. Reichman, A. Simoncini, G. Sartor, G. De Gregorio (eds.), Constitutional Challenges in the Algorithmic Society (pp. 57-77). Cambridge University Press.

Williams, R. (2021). Whose Streets? Our Streets! (Tech Edition): 2020-21 “Smart City” Cautionary Trends & 10 Calls to Action to Protect and Promote Democracy. Report from Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Harvard Kennedy School.

Yeung, K., & Bygrave, L. A. (2021). Demystifying the modernized European data protection regime: Cross‐disciplinary insights from legal and regulatory governance scholarship. Regulation & Governance ,16, 137–155.

Yeung, K., Howes, A., & Pogrebna, G (2020). AI Governance by Human Rights–Centered Design, Deliberation, and Oversight: An End to Ethics Washing. In M. Dubber, F. Pasquale, & S. Das (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI (pp. 77-104). Oxford University Press.

Yeung, K. (2019). Responsibility and AI. The Council of Europe.

Zambonelli, Franco; Salim, Flora; Loke, Seng W.; De Meuter, Wolfgang; Kanhere, Salil (2018). Algorithmic Governance in Smart Cities: The Conundrum and the Potential of Pervasive Computing Solutions. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 37(2), 80–87.

Deadline: 31 May 2022
Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Call for Proposals: Regulation of Digital Platforms in sub-Saharan Africa

Call for Proposals: Regulation of Digital Platforms in sub-Saharan Africa

As part of the project’s thematic focus “Digitalisation and Entrepreneurship”, the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) will commission a study to identify challenges and potential solutions of (de)regulation in order to enable a socially just gig economy. The initial perspective on digital platform regulation is broad, potentially covering areas of labour, e-commerce and innovation, and including aspects of market power regulation, workers’ rights or copyright protection. However, the authors may specify the focus of the study in light of the availability of materials and after having received input from a multi-stakeholder dialogue that will be hosted in Kenya in July 2022.

About the Project 

Funded by the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Global Digital Transformation (SET) research project has the goal of addressing issues relating to digitalisation, particularly in the Global South. With a focus on the topics of entrepreneurship, platform regulation, and the use of digitalisation for climate resiliency, the project works closely with local stakeholders to build application-oriented expertise and to create an international knowledge community.

About the Study 

Specifically, the study should provide an overview of existing policies and literature on different regulatory approaches to digital platforms in sub-Saharan Africa, with a local focus on Kenya. On this basis, the role that stakeholders from the respective countries play in academic studies and policy initiatives should be identified, as well as the particular challenges for digital platform regulation that sub-Saharan countries are facing.

It is intended that the study will be initiated by a six-week research sprint aimed at facilitating applied research on current societal challenges in an international and interdisciplinary setting. Following the research sprint, the authors of the study are invited to present their preliminary findings at the stakeholder dialogue in Kenya. Responses and discussions from the dialogue should be integrated into the study, also highlighting the decisive elements of regional best-practices as guidelines for future regulatory approaches in the platform economy in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa.

The Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) kindly requests the submission of a proposal for an academic study with the following goals and objectives:

  • Identify the literature (both academic and policy-related) that assesses digital platform regulation (e.g., with regard to market power concentration, workers’ rights, copyright protection), with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Identify policy initiatives on digital platform regulation (e.g., with regard to market power concentration, workers’ rights, copyright protection) in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Investigate the role of stakeholders from respective countries in sub-Saharan Africa in academic studies and policy initiatives – to what extent have these efforts been driven by local researchers and policy makers?
  • Summarise the review of literature and policy initiatives in terms of countries and regulatory areas (e.g., with regard to market power concentration, workers’ rights, copyright protection);
  • Guide one of the teams during the six-week research sprint in their explorative research. The results can be integrated in the study. Additional effort and time investment in the research sprint can be compensated.
  • Present scope and design of the study at a multi-stakeholder dialogue in Kenya in July 2022 (onsite or online, travel grants are available);
  • Incorporate the feedback from the multi-stakeholder dialogue into the further refinement of the study, with particular consideration of the following two questions:
    • What are the specific challenges for digital platform regulation in the context of countries in sub-Saharan Africa?
    • Using existing literature or policy intervention as examples, what could be done to improve digital platform regulation/ what are best practices?
  • Write a blogpost summarising the results for the HIIG’s Digital Society Blog

Eligibility and Requirements

Interested applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • PhD in a relevant discipline (advanced PhD students will be considered given that there is sufficient proof of experience)
  • Excellent writing skills as evidenced by publications in academic journals
  • Proven experience in the field of platform regulation
  • Familiarity with the local context (ideally experience with conducting research in sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Proficiency in the English language
  • Ability to attend the multi-stakeholder dialogue in Kenya in mid-July 2022 (exact date to be confirmed)

General Information 

  • Budget: EUR 16,000 (gross) + possible additional compensation depending on the involvement in the research sprint
  • Scope of the study: maximum 15,000 words
  • Timeframe for conducting the study: June to October 2022
  • Mid-term report on the current state of research up to September 2022
  • Final feedback loop after editorial and academic review

All interested applicants are invited to submit their proposal (maximum two pages) and a short curriculum vitae with the form below by Tuesday, 19 April 2022. For questions please contact Christian Grauvogel ( Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process latest by Monday, 25 April 2022.

More information: click here


Deadline: 19 April 2022


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Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Research sprint: “Sustainable digital economies”

Research sprint: “Sustainable digital economies”

A unique opportunity to shape the platform economy of tomorrow and to join a scientific community

Digital platforms have become the defining ecosystems for economic activity in the 21st century. On two-sided markets, they mediate between buyers and sellers of digital work or enable novel business for digital entrepreneurs. At the same time, they amplify existing polarisation of skills and economic resources and call for new regulatory measures in an increasingly uneven digital economy. Both the perks and perils of the digital platform economy are distinctly visible in regions on the economic development pathway, like many economies in sub-Saharan Africa. How can platform work in sub-Saharan Africa be shaped sustainably? What role does fairness play in regulation and the exchange between different interest groups? These are just some of the many pressing questions related to platform economy and regulation, which we will address in an interdisciplinary research sprint with exciting structures for policy impact (both public and private).

For our project Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Global Digital Transformation (SET), we are now inviting applications from advanced PhD researchers, early post-docs or persons with comparable qualifications with diverse academic backgrounds (economics, law, political science and related fields) to join a

Research Sprint on “Sustainable Digital Economies”

taking place from 30 May 2022 to 15 July 2022 virtually, with a closing week onsite in Ghana. Main partners of the project are the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Digital Transformation Centre Ghana.

About the research sprint

The research sprint will address two central aspects and levels of the digital platform economy: skill polarisation in a future of remote work and local regulation of platform work. The findings and results of the research sprint will be integrated into local activities of the Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Global Digital Transformation (SET) project in Ghana and Kenya such as a multi-stakeholder dialogue, a large-scale study on skill polarisation in online labour markets and a study on regulation of digital platforms in sub-Saharan Africa. The research sprint will be conducted with two working groups, each of which will focus on one of the two central topics. One of the teams will look into data sets about online labour markets in Ghana and Kenya and will support this data with qualitative research on the workers’ perspective.

With the innovative format of a research sprint we want to enable applied research on current societal challenges in the setting of the sub-Saharan digital platform economy.

Goals of the research sprint

  • Build an international knowledge community around the topic of platform mediated work
  • Connect international researchers and foster the impact of their research
  • Provide up-to-date research and data for policy makers and other stakeholders
  • Inform discussion with stakeholders
  • Showcase and foster the local capacity for digital policy making and regulation in the digital economy (ideas from the region for the region)

What we offer

  • A unique opportunity to participate in a focused research activity and to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research with outstanding international colleagues
  • International visibility and collaboration with our partners GIZ and the Digital Transformation Centre in Ghana
  • Support and guidance from a dedicated team of researchers at the HIIG and beyond
  • A joint publication or other output format – the format will be determined by the group of participants
  • You become part of an interdisciplinary community of researchers dedicated to platform governance and benefit from perspective of economics, law, and political sciences

What we expect

  • Proven interest in the topic of sustainable digital economies and relevant research experience in one of the mentioned disciplines
  • Outstanding academic qualifications (PhD in progress/planned or advanced PhD, post-doctoral researcher or comparable qualifications)
  • Fluency in English
  • Commitment to take part in recurring virtual sessions. (The estimated amount of time you can ideally dedicate is ten to twenty hours a week, depending on your capacities. The schedule will be developed together with the participants.)
  • Motivation to produce research outputs within the time of the sprint and to contribute to a joint publication or alternative research output

Things to consider

The sprint is offered virtually. Participants of the research sprint have the opportunity to participate at a closing week and a multi-stakeholder dialogue onsite in Ghana, if they are fully vaccinated, according to the current travel restrictions in Ghana. There is a travel fund that allows us to refund a limited amount of travel expenses.

Time Frame: The sprint takes place from 30 May 2022 to 15 July 2022

Financial Issues: Travel costs to non-virtual events can be covered in consultation with HIIG

Application documents

  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae in English
  • Motivation letter explaining your interest in the research sprint, your research background, and your expectations, as well as a quick outline of what problem of platform governance you would like to address (1 page in English). Specifically, please indicate which of the two working groups you are interested in:
    • A) How can platform architecture, e.g. recommendation and reputation mechanisms, be changed to make platform work more inclusive?
    • B) How can platform workers be helped to find and learn marketable skills to improve their economic outlook?
  • Optional: one writing or work sample covering the topic (in English or German)

In your application, please mention if you plan to take part virtually or physically, so we can plan accordingly. This is not a criterion for the selection process, but an essential information for the organisers of the sprint.

Please upload your application by 24 April 2022.

More information: click here

In the case of questions please contact:

Deadline: 24 April 2022
ONLINE / Digital Law Center, University of Geneva
Digital Law Research Colloquium: Applications Open

Digital Law Research Colloquium (online – June 24, 2022)

The Digital Law Research Colloquium (DLRC) is organized by our Digital Law Center / University of Geneva, in collaboration with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, the CRIDES Center for Economic Law and Society at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), the Institute for Technology and Society of RioRenmin University of China and the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche en Droit de l’Immatériel of  the University Paris Sud.

The DLCR constitutes a unique opportunity for young digital law researchers and scholars working on hot digital law & policy topics to present their work-in-progress to a global panel of digital law experts (coming from all the partner institutions involved in the DLRC) and to receive valuable feedback on their research from leading scholars and to be part of a growing global digital law research community (see the testimonials for the last colloquium:

For additional information & online application:

Digital Law Research Colloquium (deadline: April 30, 2022):

Please feel free to share the information around you and do not hesitate to contact us at (in cc) in case of questions.

Deadline: 30 April 2022
ONLINE / Digital Law Center, University of Geneva
Digital Law Summer School: Applications Open

Digital Law Summer School (online – June 20 to July 1, 2022)

The Digital Law Summer School (DLSS) is a two week online education program which offers a unique opportunity to discuss cutting edge digital law and policy issues with leading academics, practitioners, representatives of international organizations and other leading global digital policy actors, including the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the CyberPeace Institute. The DLSS gathers a very diverse group of talented participants that build a dynamic global community of digital law experts and creates great opportunities for social and professional interactions and networking (and to be part of the growing community of DLSS alumni).

For additional information & online application:

Digital Law Summer School (deadline: April 15, 2022)

Please feel free to share the information around you and do not hesitate to contact us at (in cc) in case of questions. 

Deadline: 15 April 2022
Global Public Policy Institute / New America
CfA: Transatlantic Digital Debates Fellowship

We are now accepting applications for the TDD 2022 program. Learn more and apply by March 20!

The Transatlantic Digital Debates (TDD) is a joint initiative of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) and New America’s Open Technology Institute that brings together young professionals from Germany and the United States to work on key challenges at the intersection of technology and policy. We are seeking 18 participants from civil society, academia, politics, media, and business who are willing to engage with and challenge each other’s ideas concerning the societal implications of technological change.

The fellows will have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts with leading experts and practitioners from different sectors. By the end of the program, they will have gained a broader understanding of the issues that will define tech policy and transatlantic relations in the coming years as well as new ideas for how to tackle the respective challenges. We hope that they will form a strong network of future decision-makers in the US and Germany.

Over the course of 2022, the fellows will meet for two dialogue sessions – first virtually (June 13 to 17) and then in person, either in the US or Germany, in the fall of 2022. The second session, which is tentatively planned for November 2022 (exact dates to be determined), may also be hosted virtually depending on public health limitations. Their discussions will tackle two main issue areas:

  • Regulation of Online Platforms: Online platforms like social media, digital marketplaces, and sharing economy services are an increasingly important part of the global economy. But the speed by which these platforms are evolving poses challenges for consumers and regulators in areas such as data protection, disinformation, targeted digital advertising, and antitrust concerns. Policies such as the German network enforcement law effectively shift the responsibility for enforcing freedom of speech onto platforms, which can lead to censorship. These challenges can also contribute to an erosion of trust in democracy. Given that the most influential online platforms are based in the US and that Germany/Europe are at the forefront of regulatory efforts in a swiftly evolving digital space, transatlantic cooperation on platform regulation is essential.
  • Data Governance: There is a critical need to understand how different data governance regimes intersect and interact. As Europe and the US construct their respective data governance regimes, they need to consider how these regulatory efforts may impact the state, corporations, individuals, international competition, and innovation as well as how to balance data protection concerns with individual liberty and national security. Transatlantic cooperation on these issues is essential in order to build and promote a set of global data norms as a counterweight to authoritarian models such as those pursued by China and Russia.

Application Requirements

Interested applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of Germany or the United States;
  • Have at least three years of professional experience;
  • Be 35 or younger as of June 30, 2022;
  • Demonstrate a strong interest in internet and technology policy as well as in addressing emerging global challenges;
  • Have an excellent command of English;
  • Demonstrate commitment, motivation and leadership;
  • Be able to attend both sessions of the program (successful candidates will be asked to provide written confirmation from their employers agreeing to the time commitment).

Please submit your application package as a single PDF file. It must include:

  • Your curriculum vitae (maximum three pages; including date of birth, nationality, professional experience, academic background, language skills, and extracurricular activities);
  • A letter of motivation (maximum one page) explaining why you want to join the Transatlantic Digital Debates. Please refer to instances in which you have demonstrated an interest in and/or examples of your professional experience in the program’s topics, and state how your participation in the program would further your professional and personal development.

Please send your application materials in a single PDF file to by Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 23:59 Central European Time (CET). Interested applicants (and their employers) are welcome to contact the program team with questions at the email address stated above.

The selection process will be administered by GPPi in close consultation with New America’s Open Technology Institute and the project steering committee. Telephone interviews will be held between March 28 and April 01, 2022, and applications of short-listed candidates will be sent to the steering committee for final selection. Successful candidates will be notified by Friday, April 15, 2022.

Please note that we are not able to discuss unsuccessful applications.

The program covers costs for travel, accommodation and meals during the duration of the sessions. Each fellow must pay a one-time participation fee of €200. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a carbon offset pool for emissions incurred as a result of travel to and from the locations where the sessions take place.

The Transatlantic Digital Debates are generously supported by the Transatlantic Program of the German Federal Government, with funding from the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Deadline: 20 March 2022
University of Ottawa
Six Vacancies at University of Ottawa

The AI + Society Initiative is seeking:

Further openings:

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Postdoktorand*in (w/m/d) / Community-Katalysator*in den Gesellschaftswissenschaften (100% E13)

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter*in (w/m/d)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Community-Katalysator*in den Gesellschaftswissenschaften (100% E13)

Die 1810 gegründete Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin ist eine der führenden deutschen Hochschulen. Als Volluniversität mit über 36.000 Studierenden verbindet sie Forschungsexzellenz mit innovativer Nachwuchsförderung. Ihre internationalen Netzwerke, interdisziplinären Forschungskooperationen sowie ihre progressiven Lehrkonzepte prägen den Wissenschaftsstandort Berlin. Die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin verfügt über den Status einer Exzellenzuniversität. Im Rahmen eines Drittmittelprojektes soll ein curricular integriertes Zertifikatsprogramm „Künstliche Intelligenz“ an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin entwickelt und implementiert werden, welches Studierenden aller Disziplinen die domänenspezifische Auseinandersetzung mit KI-Methoden und KI-Technologien ermöglicht. Um generisch relevante KI-Methoden bzw. Technologien mit fachspezifischen Anwendungsszenarien zu verzahnen, setzt das Projekt auf ein didaktisches Konzept, das mit Hilfe von JupyterHub (als Lernumgebung) und Computational Essays (als Prüfungsformat) eine tiefe Verankerung von KI-bezogenen Studienangeboten in der Breite der Hochschulbildung fördert.

Wir suchen Sie für dieses Projekt als Community-Katalysator*in den Gesellschaftswissenschaften.

Das Entgelt erfolgt nach E 13 TV-L. Die Stelle hat einen Umfang von 39,4 Stunden/Woche. Die Stelle ist gem. § 2 Absatz 2 Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG) entsprechend der Projektdauer bis 30.11.2025 befristet.

Ihre Aufgaben:

  • Wiss. Dienstleistungen in der Forschung sowie wiss. Mitarbeit beim Ausbau bestehender und Entwicklung neuer KI-Lehr-Lern-Settings (insbesondere für den Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften)
  • Austausch mit Fach-Communities und Aufbau eines Netzwerkes von Lehrenden
  • Dokumentation und Präsentation von Entwicklungen und Ergebnissen
  • Schwerpunkte liegen auf der Entwicklung eines didaktischen Rahmenprogramms zum forschungsorientierten Lehren und Lernen mit/zu KI sowie der Erfassung und Überprüfung KI-bezogener Kompetenzen in Lehrveranstaltungen

Ihr Profil:

  • abgeschlossene Promotion in Erziehungs-/Bildungswissenschaften oder vergleichbarer Abschluss
  • grundlegende Kenntnisse im Bereich Informatik (insbesondere KI basierter Methoden in den Gesellschaftswissenschaften)
  • ausgewiesene Kenntnisse im Bereich qualitativer und quantitativer Methoden
  • ausgewiesene Erfahrungen in der Aufbereitung und Präsentation von Projektergebnissen
  • Lehrerfahrung, idealerweise didaktische Aus- und Weiterbildung
  • sehr gute Kommunikations-, Kooperations- und Organisationsfähigkeit
  • sehr gute Deutsch- und gute Englischkenntnisse in Schrift und Wort
  • sehr gute Belastbarkeit und soziale Kompetenz

Unser Angebot:

  • eine abwechslungsreiche Tätigkeit in einem dynamischen und spannenden Umfeld, in dem Teamarbeit, Transparenz, offene Innovationsprozesse und ständige Weiterbildung unverzichtbar sind
  • die Möglichkeit, bei der Entwicklung innovativer Ansätze zur Vermittlung von KI-Inhalten mitzuwirken und dabei Erfahrungen im Umgang mit großen Datenmengen sowie der geeigneten Infrastruktur (GPU-Cluster-System) und aktuellen Technologien (z.B.  JupyterHub, Apache Spark) zu sammeln
  • die Altersvorsorge für den öffentlichen Dienst (VBL)
  • ein Arbeitsplatz in Berlin Mitte
  • Chancengleichheit und Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Familie

Sie fühlen sich angesprochen?

Dann machen Sie jetzt den nächsten Schritt und bewerben Sie sich:

Bewerbungsschluss ist der 03.02.2022, die Vorstellungsgespräche werden voraussichtlich ab 07.02.2022 stattfinden. Die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin ist bestrebt, den Anteil an Frauen zu erhöhen und begrüßt deshalb besonders die Bewerbung von Frauen. Schwerbehinderte Bewerber*innen werden bei entsprechender Eignung bevorzugt berücksichtigt. Bitte senden Sie uns Ihre aussagekräftige Bewerbung mit Anschreiben, Lebenslauf, Promotionsurkunde, Universitätsabschlusszeugnis und eine informative Kurzzusammenfassung Ihrer Dissertation (max. eine Seite) unter Angabe der Kennziffer DR/005/22 an die Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaften, Frau Jacqueline Wiedenhöft (Sitz: Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 7), Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin oder bevorzugt per E-Mail in einer PDF-Datei an

Sie haben noch Fragen? Dann wenden Sie sich gern an Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Mayweg (

Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier:

Deadline: 3 February 2022
Call for Papers: Opening Access, Closing the Knowledge Gap?

International law is, by definition, a global discipline. Yet in practice, scholarly discourse often remains hampered by the borders of national publishing cultures and fora. The voices that are most audible internationally often come from the same (Western) elite institutions. The internet with its unprecedented communicative potential offers a unique chance to make international legal scholarship more inclusive, participatory – and simply more international. Nonetheless, old dynamics of center and periphery have not been overcome. The COVID-19 pandemic further increased the use of digital technologies for global scientific exchange and collaborations, highlighting their potential and revitalizing debates about open access (OA) and inequalities in knowledge production and dissemination.  For those engaged in Open Access debates, the steps taken by publishers and academic institutions during the pandemic showcased the wealth of available possibilities – and their promise for advancing international legal scholarship.

It remains to be seen whether the pandemic will bring the long-predicted “access revolution”, in other words, whether it will have lasting effects in terms of opening up science. It may well be that the lifting of paywalls, which many publishers have undertaken to facilitate access to science in the age of working from home, and the invention of open COVID licenses will turn out to be only temporary phenomena. Undeniably, however, the pandemic is a gamechanger in that it shows that change is possible – and that it can happen very fast. Many things that seemed impossible not so long ago became reality within months.

After nearly two years of online teaching, zoom conferences and writing sprints on the web, it is a good moment to discuss the chances and challenges of the digitalization of international legal scholarship. Is the digitalization of scholarly communication a chance to include more voices and perspectives and to finally overcome the multiple existing barriers? In other words, are we on the verge of realizing the utopia of a global, democratic, and equitable system of knowledge production and diffusion, as propagated by early open access enthusiasts? Or, on the contrary, does the current development further contribute to neoliberal performance absolutism in science and produce new exclusions?

As a digital publication format which has aimed to contribute to overcoming obstacles of traditional publishing and to foster transboundary discourses in international law since 2014, Völkerrechtsblog is pleased to organize a conference on open access and global justice. The conference will explore and further theorize the effects of the digitalization of scholarly communication on international legal scholarship by bringing together different perspectives and experiences. While contributions discussing experiences during the pandemic are welcome, the framework is broader. We are particularly interested in voices from the “Global South”. Where do scholars, blog and journal editors, librarians, teachers, and platform providers see the chances and where limits of digitalization for scholarly communication in international law?  We want to question, discuss, and critically analyze the conditions and infrastructure of scholarly communication in international legal scholarship.

Submissions on any of the following topics are welcome:

  • Access to scientific literature/information:

To what extent do paywalls inhibit transnational scholarly discourses? Can OA be a tool to close the “knowledge gap” and internationalize scholarly discourses in international law? Can it even increase the legitimacy of international law as such? What are OA practices in different countries and on different continents? What are possible downsides of OA (e.g. new exclusions with business models charging authors rather than readers)?

  • Publishing infrastructure/scholarly communication: journals 

How do journals shape international legal discourses? Do they perpetuate inequalities by upholding the prevalence of dominating voices? Are “citation cartels” an issue, if so, how can they be overcome? Other questions: Predominance of the English language and specific writing styles to the detriment of others/diversity; mainstream vs. niche topics.

  • Publishing infrastructure/scholarly communication: blogs

In a self-reflective and self-critical exercise, we are also interested in reflections about the role of blogs in international law. Often having started as alternatives to traditional journals, have they succeeded in breaking up old structures and hierarchies and enhancing diverse debates? Or, to the contrary, have they driven the “publish or perish” mentality to new extremes? What lessons can be learned to harness blogs for a fruitful and sustainable advancement of international law?

  • Conferences

What are the potentials and limits of “e-conferencing”? Can online or hybrid conferences address the problem that not all scholars have the financial and time resources to travel to traditional in-person conferences? Could the possibility to participate online remedy existing access inequalities? Or, to the contrary, does “e-conferencing” prevent the beneficial confrontation and interaction of conferences?

  • Other questions related to the digitalization of scholarly communication and the digital infrastructure

Please send your abstract in English of up to 500 words to (please mention the Call for Papers in the subject line). The deadline for abstract submissions is 1 March 2022. Selected abstract authors will be asked to hand in a paper by 31 July 2022. Submissions should also mention the affiliation of the authors, contain a short CV (max. 1 page), and, if available, link to their personal home page. In light of the aim of the conference, we are interested in authors from all around the globe and in particular from countries of the “Global South”. In the selection process, we aim to reflect diversity in terms of gender, geography, social status, etc.

  • Deadline for abstracts: 1 March 2022
  • Deadline for papers: 31 July 2022
  • Conference: 7-9 September 2022
  • Intended outcome: Journal Special Issue in a legal journal (e.g. Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht/Heidelberg Journal of International Law).
Deadline: 1 March 2022
Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society
Call for Papers: Weizenbaum Annual Conference 2022

Important Dates 

  • Deadline for submission: 15 February 2022
  • Notification for acceptance: 15 March 2022
  • Conference: 9/10 June 2022


The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society is organizing its 2022 annual conference on the subject of “Practicing Sovereignty. Interventions for open digital futures” and invites interested scholars and artists to submit papers and abstracts for presentations and workshops. The conference will take place at the venue „Alte Münze“ in Berlin on Thursday, 9 June and Friday, 10 June 2022.

The premises of how ICT impacts societies worldwide have changed. Instead of further indulging in collective imaginaries of better, digitally ediated futures, today’s narratives are dominated by worrying aspects of the digital transformation. Issues such as the increasing vulnerability and manipulation of individuals, the violation of fundamental rights through mass surveillance, and the digitally mediated undermining of democratic institutions and practices have become more and more threatening to an open and free society.

Against this backdrop, the notion of “digital sovereignty” is currently witnessing an increasing interest. Being hotly debated for its implied potentials, but also for its shortcomings, the term denotes diverse concepts that negotiate competences, duties, and rights in the digital age. Questions of trust, confidence, and competence – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic – contextualize digital sovereignty in a fundamental reconsideration of what has been known as democratic principles, civil rights, and national identities.

The international conference and exhibition will investigate new opportunities for digital participation and policymaking and discuss alternative technological and social practices from various fields and disciplines. We frame digital sovereignty as a right to be claimed and a process constantly in the making, as a condition of the ability to critically partake in the digital transformation.

The conference will provide a transdisciplinary platform for scholars, artists, activists, and human rights advocates who develop transformative practices spaces to foster digital involvement. Grassroots initiatives, community projects, and participatory practices in design, art and activism appear as collective counter strategies and bottom-up interventions that challenge the normalization of inequalities and insecurities and push back against threats to an open society. They lay the groundwork for new forms of agency, paving novel ways of practicing sovereignty – both in the sense of collective activities as well as in terms of public education and experimentation.

To investigate the notion of digital sovereignty while respecting the plurality of its forms and approaches, the conference and exhibition offer four different tracks with shifting focuses:

  1. Digital sovereignty: terms, concepts, limitations
  2. Datafication and democracy
  3. Digital literacies and inequalities
  4. Digital sovereignty and scientific autonomy

1.Digital sovereignty: terms, concepts, limitations

As a central concept in current policy discourses, digital sovereignty addresses various challenges posed by the digital transformation. This track will address theoretical approaches in the current discourses on regulatory, technological, and civil society perspectives on digital sovereignty, and discuss approaches that are being negotiated. They range from a territorial viewpoint for digitally sovereign entities to an individual perspective of self-determination in everyday life and touch upon questions of autonomy, control, and authority. Contributions may include but are not limited to:

  • Different (digital) ontologies and corresponding notions of sovereignty
  • Relations between sovereignty and the digital
  • Conceptual elements of how to analyze (digital) sovereignty
  • Shifting power systems through the digital transformation of societies
  • Public reflections of sovereign powers
  • Alternative sovereignty concepts for democratic value

2.Datafication and democracy

How can we reimagine the politics of data? Automated decision-making, predictive policing, social scoring – computational datafication and automation are changing structures and procedures not only of private corporations but also of governments and public institutions. At the same time, people\s everyday lives become datafied lives. Digital means and tools empower them to demand access to government information (freedom of information, open government) and to actively partake in political decision-making. But they also burden citizens with responsibility: It is often up to the individual to resist and protest the collection and exploitation of their personal data by private corporations and intelligence agencies. With these new challenges and possibilities, liberal democracies seem to be at a crossroads: Are people becoming a mere datapoint in an opaque machinery of computation whose results and decisions we can neither comprehend nor challenge? Or can we, by new means of engagement and by redefining technical infrastructures as public infrastructures, strengthen democracy and advance social progress? Contributions may include but are not limited to:

  • Changing structures in governments and public institutions through    datafication
  • Open government, open data, open source
  • Public interest design
  • Surveillance capitalism: data extractivism and the quantification of the individual
  • Automated decision making vs. digitally aided sovereignty
  • Ownership of digital infrastructure: private property and the public sphere

3. Digital literacies and inequalities

How can we grasp and trace the interrelations between social inequalities and digital divides? How can we develop new strategies for socio-technical public education that ensure equitable and democratic engagements with regulatory debates around technologies? Through the lens of a so called “third level digital divide” – a concept that addresses the capacity to achieve adequate outcomes and benefits from our digital actions – we can look beyond simplistic conceptions of access to technologies and information. This track will discuss digital literacies in a broader, socio-cultural sense as a creative, performative, and inherently political everyday practice and thus use digitality as a lens to discuss intersectional inequalities. With this, it will examine both the causes and consequences of power, privilege, and oppression in the digital realm, and feature theories, practices and tactics for addressing and countering the increasing amount of digital inequalities and disparities on a global level. Contributions may include but are not limited to:

  • Digitalization and gender and intersectionality
  • Gender-equitable design of digital or socio-technical systems
  • In/visibility of oppressive forces in digital algorithms and products
  • New strategies for socio-technical public education and public pedagogy
  • Art, technology and exploit: exposing power inequalities through artistic practice
  • Digital activism as digital empowerment of groups and individuals

4. Digital sovereignty and scientific autonomy

The digital transformation of scientific work comes with promises of faster collaboration, increased rigour and broader access to knowledge. At the heart of these scientific imaginaries are new digital infrastructures that connect researchers, organizations, and artifacts. However, today an increasing number of these infrastructures are developed and controlled by a handful of powerful technology firms and publishing companies. This development poses a threat to scientific autonomy, as such crucial infrastructures are shaped by the data imperative and extractive logics of platform capitalism rather than the needs of the scientific community. To contribute to the project of digital sovereignty, science needs to reclaim its autonomy in digitally networked environments first. The goal of this conference track is to bring together critical perspectives and generative proposals on the crisis of scientific autonomy in the digital condition. Contributions may include but are not limited to:

  • Data repositories and preprint servers
  • Tracking technologies and academic surveillance
  • Predatory publishing
  • Open science and open education
  • Distributed trust technologies in science
  • Digital metrics and evaluation tools

Submission Categories


Paper length should be between 2,500 and 3,000 words (including notes, excluding references) and follow the Word template formatting. When using LaTeX, please adapt the formatting of the Word template. Please upload the paper in PDF format. As the paper will be reviewed in a double-blind process, please anonymize any information which could point to your authorship (including information in references and notes). Papers accepted in the review or revision process will be published as part of the conference proceedings. In addition, selected submissions will be given the opportunity to be published in a special issue of the Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society that will focus on the conference topicsAuthors are expected to hold a 20-minute presentation of their submitted papers.

Authors are expected to hold a 20-minute presentation of their submitted papers.

Proposals for workshops and project presentation

The conference will provide space for workshops and project presentations in fields of scientific research and also for artistic research and projects, activism/hacktivism, design, or other interactive or participatory formats. Please submit a project proposal as PDF (max. 3 pages) including a description (max. 1,000 words) and, if applicable, images. If the proposal includes video or audio material, please provide within the pdf hyperlinks to a video/audio hosting platform where the work can be accessed (e.g., Vimeo or platforms of educational institutions). The review process will be single-blind and include suggestions for revision considering the conditions of the conference site and schedule. The description will be published in the conference proceedings (a selection of descriptions also in the Weizenbaum Journal, s. above), combined with images and potential documentation material (depending on the individual project and to be discussed with the contributor).


  1. Please submit a paper or abstract for workshop and project presentation by 15 February 2022 viaEasy Chair. The paper or abstract should indicate the conference track.
  2. Submissions will be reviewed, and decisions of acceptance will be issued by 15 March 2022. Peer review of papers (double-blind) and abstract for workshop and project presentation (single-blind). Decisions of acceptance or revision will be issued by 15 March 2022.
  3. After the potential revision the papers will be published in the conference proceedings. The conference proceedings will be published open access by the Weizenbaum Institute (providing DOIs). In addition, selected submissions will be given the opportunity to be published in a special issue of the Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Societythat will focus on the conference topics.
Deadline: 15 February 2021
Völkerrechtsblog Symposium
Call for Contributions: Framing Business and Human Rights? A Deep Dive into a New Regulatory Proposal

Call for Contributions: Framing Business and Human Rights?

A Deep Dive into a New Regulatory Proposal

Business and human rights (BHR), as an emerging field of modern law and legal research, is at an inflection point. On the one hand, its most prominent set of norms, the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), are widely accepted by leading institutions worldwide and recognised as having contributed to progress in this field. On the other hand, with a focus on remediating transnational corporate human rights abuses, governments and CSOs are currently drafting a treaty within an Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG).

Confounding the dichotomy of hard and soft law approaches to BHR, the Biden Administration recently expressed openness to alternative routes in the field, explicitly mentioning “a legally binding framework agreement” that would build on the UNGPs. Framework agreements are a type of treaty, that establish key objectives and a system of governance, but leave details to be determined in the future by an agreed-on mechanism. Perceived by some as a distraction from existing efforts to create a binding treaty in the field, others regard the proposal for a framework agreement as offering a promising and realistic route.

In April 2022, Völkerrechtsblog and World Comparative Law (WCL) will host a blog Symposium as an opportunity for a curious examination of this new approach to regulating business in the field of human rights. This symposium aims to explore its potentials, challenges, benefits, and downsides. By inviting contributions from a variety of fields and backgrounds, the symposium hopes to open the debate to a wider public and enable States to make sound choices, informed by a broad range of perspectives.

There is particular interest in contributions that explore one or more of the following:

  • Analysing the proposal: What would be the potentials, challenges, benefits, and downsides associated with a framework-style BHR agreement? Could a framework agreement have advantages over the treaty scheme envisaged by the current OEIGWG process? What are the pitfalls to avoid when drafting a framework-style BHR agreement? How would it have to be designed to contribute to protecting human rights most effectively?
  • Situating the proposal within exiting international law: What would be the relationship between the three parallel initiatives, the UNGPs, the treaty scheme proposal of the OEIGWG and a new framework agreement? Can they coexist in fruitful interaction? Or can they undermine each other? How does the framework agreement approach relate to broader discussions regarding the legitimacy and effectiveness of Multistakeholderism vs. Multilateralism? Are there lessons to be learned from existing framework agreements, such as the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1977 CoE Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities or the 2003 WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?
  • Confronting the proposal with critical international legal studies: Would any of these three parallel initiatives be particularly sensitive to existing interdependencies and entanglements between the “North” and “South” or “host” and “home” states? How could the rights and interests of vulnerable or marginalised groups be best taken into account in this field?

You are invited to send your blogposts for a blog symposium to be published on Völkerrechtsblog. Selected contributions may also be developed into full articles for a special issue of the journal World Comparative Law (WCL).

Process and timeline for the online Symposium on Völkerrechtsblog:

  • Deadline for the submission of 100-words abstracts: 15 January 2022
  • Selected authors will be notified by 1 February 2022
  • Deadline for the submission of the selected Blogposts: 1 March 2022
  • Form of blogposts: 1000-1500 words, see directions for authors.
  • Editorial process: double-blind review and editing by the editorial team
  • Publication: on Völkerrechtsblog in April 2022

Process and timeline for the special issue of World Comparative Law (WCL):

  • Selected authors will be invited to develop their blogposts into journal articles for a special issue of World Comparative Law. Manuscripts of up to 10.000 words will be due on 1 July 2022.
  • After peer review, the selected articles will be published either in issue 03/22 or 04/22 of World Comparative Law.

Address for submission:

Deadline: 15 January 2021
Research group for Law, Science and Technology at TU Munich
Two Positions in Research group for Law, Science and Technology at TU Munich

PhD candidate in the field of legal tech, digitization and new technologies

Research assistant and PhD candidate (m/f/d) in the field of legal tech, digitization and new technologies (TVL – E13 50-65%).

Are you passionate about digitization and its effects on society and law? Do you care about how emergent technologies like artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies or platforms shape future societies? Would you like to acquire a PhD in law and gain experience as a research assistant in the field of digital technology design? Then you should consider joining us.

The Professorship of Law, Science and Technology is dedicated to questions of law, digitization and society from an inter-disciplinary legal perspective. Our research group explores possibilities for technology design that conforms to and implements the constitution. It is situated at TUM School of Social Science and Technology and the Department for Science, Technology and Society. The School of Social Science and Technology is dedicated to understanding the multifaceted interactions of science, technology and society and to help shape them in a reflective manner. 


  • Successful completion of a degree in law on the master’s level or a level comparable to the German state exam
  • A profound interest in new technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, distributed ledger technologies, various digital platforms) and their societal impacts
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Additional language skills and IT knowledge are beneficial
  • Networked thinking and acting, soft skills (organization, team skills)
  • High motivation and enthusiasm for research in the field of law and technology



  • Provide support for research projects, practical projects and teaching activities of the research group
  • Assumption of own teaching activities, in particular in the elite master RESET
  • Organizational tasks (e.g. organization of conferences and workshops)
  • The opportunity to write a dissertation project at the research group is given



You could participate in exciting legal research projects in a unique interdisciplinary environment that opens up new, innovative perspectives on the law. Thus, there is the possibility of specialization in the field of law and digitization, especially from a public law perspective. You can expect to work in a committed team on the inner-city campus of the TU Munich. Your doctoral project will be carried out according to the doctoral regulations in the field of law; at the end you will be awarded the degree of Dr. jur.

You will be hired as a researcher. You will have the opportunity to take part in the projects of the research group and be paid according to the collective agreement for the public service of the federal states (TV-L) in the classification TV-L13 (between 50-65%). The salary includes all mandatory social insurance contributions for healthcare, unemployment, and retirement benefits. If necessary, there is the possibility of an increase through project work. The position is initially limited to one and a half years with the possibility of extension once the aptitude for scientific work with the aim of a doctoral degree is clarified.


We look forward to receiving your application documents (CV, letter of motivation, and copies of relevant certificates), including your earliest possible starting date. Please send them by e-mail with the subject “Application WissMA Law” in a pdf file to: The deadline for applications is 15 January 2022.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at

The TU Munich aims to increase the proportion of women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. Severely disabled persons will be given preference in the case of essentially equal suitability. 


TUM School of Social Science and Technology
Prof. Dr. Christian Djeffal
Augustenstraße 46, 80333 Munich
Phone +49 89 289 29235


Post Doc in the field of law, digitization and new technologies

Post Doc (m/f/d) in the field of law, digitization and new technologies (TVL – E13 100%).


Are you an early career scholar who wants to develop a research profile in the field of law and technology? Would you like to have the opportunity to assume increasingly more responsibility in research and teaching? Are you passionate about the way technologies shape society and the way governance mechanisms, like the law, can shape the design of emergent technologies? Then you should consider joining us.

The Professorship of Law, Science and Technology is dedicated to questions of law, digitization and society from an interdisciplinary legal perspective. This research group explores possibilities for technology design that conforms to and implements the constitution. It is situated at TUM School of Social Science and Technology and the Department for Science, Technology and Society. The School of Social Science and Technology is dedicated to understanding the multifaceted interactions of science, technology and society and to help shape them in a reflective manner.


  • Promising scholars who successfully completed doctoral project in the field of law, preferably in a subject area related to the research group or is about to complete it
  • An active interest in reflecting on issues of digitization and new technologies (artificial intelligence, internet of things, distributed ledger technologies, various digital platforms) from a public law perspective
  • An excellent command of the English language
  • Additional language skills and IT knowledge are beneficial
  • Networked thinking and acting, soft skills (organization, team skills)
  • High motivation and enthusiasm for research in the field of law and technology; ability to conduct research projects in whole or in part independently



  • Active participation of research projects, practical projects and teaching activities
  • Assumption of own teaching activities, in particular in the elite master RESET
  • Organizational tasks (e.g., organization of conferences and workshops)
  • Opportunity to further your own scholarly profile through publications and teaching



You can expect to participate in legal research projects in a unique interdisciplinary environment that opens up new, innovative perspectives on the law. You will have the opportunity to specialize in the field of law and digitization, especially from a public law perspective, as well as to deepen your own research focus in this promising field of law. You can expect to work in a committed team on the inner-city campus of the TU Munich. You will be hired as soon as possible and will be paid according to the collective agreement for the public service of the federal states (TV-L) in the classification TV-L13 (100%). The salary is around 4300 € and 5000 € and includes all mandatory social insurance contributions for healthcare, unemployment, and retirement benefits.


We look forward to receiving your application documents (CV, letter of motivation, copies of relevant certificates, list of publications, text sample of up to two publications), including your earliest possible starting date. Please send them by e-mail with the subject “Application PostDoc Law” in a pdf file to: The deadline for applications is 15 January 2022.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at

The TU Munich aims to increase the proportion of women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. Severely disabled persons will be given preference in the case of essentially equal suitability. 


TUM School of Social Science and Technology
Prof. Dr. Christian Djeffal
Augustenstraße 46, 80333 Munich
Phone +49 89 289 29235


Deadline: 15 January 2021
Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
HIIG Internet and Society Hybrid Fellowship 2022: Call for Applications

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) will be opening its (virtual) doors to new fellows in 2022! The fellowship is internationally focused and offers a unique opportunity for innovative thinkers who wish to engage in the exchange of research experiences and to set up new initiatives. Depending on your individual situation and the COVID-19 situation, the fellowship can be realised virtually, partly or even fully in person. Our fellows are part of an international team of researchers and participate in the institute’s various active projects. We encourage early and advanced researchers to apply.

We invite applications from researchers with diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, who wish to contribute to the range of the institute’s transdisciplinary Internet research.

Located in the heart of Berlin, the HIIG provides a dynamic and intellectual environment for fellows to pursue their own research interests and actively shape their stay. We invite fellows to collaborate with an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers and offer a number of opportunities to share and discuss their ideas. These include, but are not limited to:

  • writing and publishing papers in one of our open access publications
  • commenting on current developments in your field in form of HIIG blog posts
  • holding presentations in one of our (virtual) lunch talks 
  • engaging in joint projects with other fellows and HIIG researchers
  • participating in webinars and skill sharing sessions
  • enjoying a (virtual) coffee, having some inspiring conversation and meeting our research directors and senior researchers during our regular fellow coffee talks

Key Areas

For our 2022 class of fellows, we consider applicants who intend to pursue topics that fall within one of our research programmes or groups. Please read the information on each of the linked websites closely, and position yourself and/or your project within the programme that suits you best.

  • The evolving digital society: How do discourses on and imaginaries about artificial intelligence (AI), anthropomorphised interfaces and robots shape the development of policies, technologies and theories – and vice versa? How can cross-cultural perspectives inform our understanding of technological change? How do we tackle the challenges that lie ahead for public discourse, such as competing media realities, misinformation or deep fakes?
  • Data, Actors, Infrastructures: How can we make data held by private and public organisations usable for scientific purposes and for the general good of society, and still take legal, ethical, economic or organizational challenges and legitimate interest of all stakeholders into account, without resorting to “silver bullets” such as “open data” or “data sharing”?
  • Knowledge & Society: Changes in knowledge production, organisation and dissemination through digital innovations: How does digitisation affect the internal scholarly communication and the science communication with the society? How can the quality of science be assured? How do universities respond to the new requirements of the third mission and Open Science?
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society: Understanding, informing and co-creating innovation and entrepreneurship in a digital economy & society: How do organisations address grand challenges such as the climate crisis or inequality using digital technologies related to artificial intelligence, open innovation, and platforms? How do digital technologies impact organisational practices, processes, and purpose?
  • AI Lab & Society: Exploring the concrete changes and challenges artificial intelligence introduces and their societal implications: What profound social changes go hand in hand with an increasing integration of AI in political, social and cultural processes? How can AI infrastructures be developed and deployed in order to realise the public interest?

Things to consider

Time Frame: Fellowships may range from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 6 months within the time span from March 1 to December 31, 2022.

COVID-19: We cannot foresee the pandemic situation next year. Generally, there will be the options of completing the fellowship virtually, partly or even fully in person, depending on the state of the pandemic upon the start of the fellowship and your personal situation.

Financial Issues: The fellowship is unpaid.


  • Master’s degree, PhD in process/planned (Junior Fellow) OR
  • Advanced PhD, post-doctoral researcher (Senior Fellow)
  • Fluency in English
  • Research experience and a research project of your own that you plan to pursue

Application documents

  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter explaining your interest in the HIIG Fellowship, research background, and your expectations (1 page)
  • Research outline (max. 3 pages) including

A) your project, and how it responds to one of research programs,
B) the specific work you propose to conduct during the fellowship,
C) deliverables, products or outcomes you aim to produce

  • Optional: one writing or work sample covering internet research (in English or German)

Please read our FAQ and review the information carefully before applying. If you have any questions, please send an email to

Please submit your application via this form until November 24, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

About HIIG

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) was founded in 2011 to research the development of the internet from a societal perspective and better understand the digitalisation of all spheres of life. As the first institute in Germany with a focus on internet and society, HIIG has established an understanding that centres on the deep interconnectedness of digital innovations and societal processes. The development of technology reflects norms, values and networks of interests, and conversely, technologies, once established, influence social values.

Deadline: 24 November 2021
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS – Online learning space Why, AI?

“AI will kill us all!” or “AI treats everyone equally!” Everyone talks about AI as it has become one of the defining technologies of our lifetime. But there are a lot of misconceptions and uncertainties people have around it, too. We would like to change this for we believe it to be extremely important to add to an informed public discourse.

To this end, we invite researchers and professionals from academia, industry and civil society with diverse backgrounds to participate in our online learning space 

Why, AI?
conceptualised as an open education resource (OER)

We are bringing together an interdisciplinary team of researchers and speakers around the globe to contribute to an AI myth-busting repository. On a regular basis, a new lecture is being added to that learning space with the goal to further unravel legends about AI and automated decision support systems, data and society.

Are you eager to support us in this mission? Are you interested in cutting through the noise and fostering the public debate on artificial intelligence? Do you have an AI myth in mind that you would like to deconstruct – once and for all? 

What exactly would you have to contribute?

  • a very short abstract (600 characters) and 3-4 punchy keywords on your topic
  • 10 slides on your topic (slide deck provided)
  • a 25min recorded video lecture (introducing yourself and presenting the slides )
  • core readings, bonus material on your topic, and inspiring people & projects

Submit your contribution here or get in touch at

We look forward to your myth!

Kind regards,

Daniela & Matthias on behalf of the Why, AI? team

Digital Legal Lab
DIGITAL LEGAL TALKS 2021: Call for Papers

The Digital Legal Lab will host the second edition of its annual conference, Digital Legal Talks, on 8 December 2021. Registration and a call for papers are now open.

Digital Legal Talks 2021 will be an online afternoon packed with keynotes, presentations and discussions on important current issues related to law and digital technologies. The aim of our collaboration’s annual conference is to share knowledge and to inspire researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and others to take on the legal, ethical and societal challenges of the increasingly automated and digitalized future.

Researchers from within and outside the Digital Legal Lab collaboration are invited to submit their published or unpublished work to present at the conference. During two rounds of interactive parallel sessions, you are offered the opportunity to discuss and further develop your research in the field of Digital Legal Studies with other experts from around the world and across scientific disciplines.

Submissions are reviewed for acceptance via EasyChair (submission deadline: 15 November 2021). Please feel invited to submit your work using this link.

The CfP for Digital Legal Talks 2021 can be downloaded here.

Deadline: 15 November 2021
Innsbruck University Department of Legal Theory and Future of Law
Assistant Professor - Tenure Track

Start Date / Duration

  • from 01.03.2022
  • for 6 years, possibility of a qualification agreement

Administrative Unit

  • Department of Legal Theory and Future of Law

Extent of Employment

  • 40 hours per week


  • Independent research at Habilitation level in jurisprudence and/or legal theory with a special focus on current developments in society, politics, technology or the economy
  • Supervision of students at Bachelor, Master and Magister level
  • Contribution to the supervision of final theses
  • Teaching and examination for the degree programmes of the Faculty of Law and for other faculties·
  • Acquisition and administration of third‐party funds
  • Contribution to organisational and administrative matters

Required qualifications:

  • Doctoral/PhD degree in Law with a dissertation in jurisprudence and/or legal theory
  • Relevant scientific achievements beyond the doctoral dissertation/PhD, preferably scientific publications in nationally and/or internationally recognised publication media and national and/or international presentations
  • Postdoctoral research experience after completion of the doctoral/PhD degree
  • Relevant teaching experience at a university and very good teaching skills; please provide teaching evaluations, if possible
  • Relevant experience in academic mobility during or after the doctoral/PhD programme is desirable
  • Experience with contributing to third-party funded protects (acquiring or managing) is desirable
  • Experience with interdisciplinary work desirable
  • Very good language skills in German and ability to teach in English
  • The application must include a research statement for a Habilitation in jurisprudence and/or legal theory, preferably with a special focus on current developments in society, politics, technology or the economy.
  • The application must also include a teaching and research statement.
  • Social competence and ability to work in a team

In this position you will have the opportunity to carry out high level research and to specialise in a particular field. You will hold your own lectures, tutor students and participate in administration. During the first year of employment it is possible to conclude a ‘qualification agreement’ which is the core part of a University career position. If the terms of the qualification agreement are fullfilled it will lead to a continuous career at the University, resulting in the position of a Associate Professor and a permanent employment.


Tenure-Track Model

The vacant post offers a continuous scientific career up to an associate professor. A key component of this tenure track model is the so called “Qualifizierungsvereinbarung” (qualification agreement). This agreement shall be concluded as the case may be at the latest one year after being employed. More information:


An initial salary of € 3.946 p.m.* shall be offered for this position. In the following, the conclusion of the qualification agreement will entitle to an increased salary of € 4.599,60 p.m.* and the fulfilment of the agreed qualification objectives will entitle to an increased salary of € 4.987,20 p.m.*. All mentioned salaries are monthly gross salaries, paid 14 times p.a. Furthermore, the university has numerous attractive offers (

*as of 2021


We are looking forward to receiving your online application by 25.11.2021.

The University of Innsbruck emphasizes equal opportunities and diversity in its personnel policy.

The University of Innsbruck strives to increase the percentage of women and thus expressly encourages women to apply. This is particularely true for leading positions and scientific job offers. In case of underrepresentation women with the same qualifications will be given priority.

Deadline: 25 November 2021
MINDS Department at Kozminski University
Job Offer for Computational Social Scientists

MINDS (Management In Networked and Digital Societies) Department at Kozminski University, a leading research-driven, non-public and non-profit business school in the heart of Europe (EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA accredited, consistently well recognized in the Financial Times business schools rankings), is seeking to fill one or more open-rank position(s) in computational social sciences.

The candidates should specify if they are applying for a position of:
– research and teaching assistant on a doctoral track(asystent),
– assistant professor (adiunkt).

The research methods of particular interest for the candidates include:
– Using Python/R for online communities studies,
– Large big dataset analyses on primary data (self-collected/scraped), including machine learning,
– Other quantitative studies of digital tribes/communities.

The projects we currently work on include:

  • digital propaganda and misinformation/disinformation online (including anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers),
  • online gossip, fake news, and tabloid analysis,
  • interactions with AI and bots (and bot detection),
  • citizen science movements (including anti-fracking, anti-smog, etc.),
  • platform capitalism and collaborative society.

About you:

A successful candidate should have an academic record matching the position they are applying for. We value journals with impact factor and top-tier academic presses. We are more impressed with the quality than the quantity of research outputs.

Other things we value and may prioritize include:

– extended experience from abroad,
– experience in teaching,
– combined educational background from different fields,
– strong academic orientation,
– good presentation and teaching skills,
– documented academic interests related to computational social sciences,
– fluency in programming languages and/or data scraping and mining tools,
– fluency in data analysis and modeling software.

We do not restrict the background of candidates to a particular field, as we believe that good research can be inspired and developed from different angles. However, we understand that the position may appeal particularly to people doing research in digital sociology, management, management science, data science, econometrics, computer science, information science, or digital humanities. Fluency in Polish is not required, but welcome. Fluency in Python/R is really important.

About the department:

MINDS Department is a highly informal, relatively young team of researchers. We follow participative decision-making principles and, if invited for an interview, you can expect to be interviewed and evaluated by many members of the team, irrespective of the rank you are applying for.

We put great emphasis on internationalization and high academic standards. Over the last five years, MINDS Department faculty have gone on one-year research stays to Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of California Berkeley, or New York University, among others. We regularly publish in JCR-listed journals and publish books in the leading academic presses (e.g. Stanford University Press, MIT Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Edward Elgar, Ashgate, Routledge).

Some of us are social movements activists (and e.g. serve on the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation or are engaged in the city movements), some are involved in the start-up culture (mentoring, seed funds, developing own businesses, etc.), and we generally value bringing a diverse experience to the table.

We believe that research should be stellar solid and of high quality, but that it also should be fun. We offer unmatched flexibility and mobility, a lot of independence, and a very friendly working culture.

MINDS Department is closely linked with NeRDS (New Research on Digital Societies) group, which participates in the international Network of Centers.

About the university:

Kozminski University (KU) is a non-public, non-profit business school. Since 1998, KU has consistently been ranked as the best non-public business school in Poland’s annual rankings of private schools of management. KU’s continuous self-improvement and its striving for internationalization have earned the school three accreditations: EQUIS (since 1999), AMBA (since 2008), AASCB (since 2012). On top of that, KU is also accredited by the Central and East European Management Development Association (CEEMAN) since 2001. UN Principles for Responsible Management Education adopted by KU in 2008, as the first university from the region of Central and Eastern Europe, are the guiding rules for the positioning as a regional leader in the field of education. The high quality of education offered by KU is also demonstrated by the position of the university in rankings published by the Financial Times: 42nd place in the Global Masters in Management ranking in 2019 (and a similar position in previous years).

About the next steps:

Questions related to the advertised position can be directed to Dariusz Jemielniak (, who will be also more than eager to talk about the potential research collaboration.

The offered position requires the beginning of work in February 2022 or October 2022, and some wiggle room is available. Submit your application by November, 10 2021 to make sure you’re considered.

The prospective candidates are requested to submit their CV, motivation letter (explaining how they fit the call) and a full list of their publications and other academic works, accompanied by a copy of up to 3 most important publications using the form available on the website (switch to English in the top right corner): until 10/11/2021 

We will only contact selected candidates. Application documents not collected within 3 months after their submission will be disposed of.

Deadline: 10 November 2021
Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ) at the University of Zurich (UZH)
Open Postdoctoral Position at IKMZ

The University of Zurich is the largest university in Switzerland. The Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ) at the University of Zurich (UZH) is one of the leading international departments of communication studies.

The successful applicant will work on dedicated topics that align with the division’s research program (link to the research program) or contribute to a new research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) led by Prof. Dr. Michael Latzer and Dr. Moritz Büchi.

The division’s research program focuses, among other things, on digitalization as socio-technical transformation, algorithmic selection in everyday life, governance of media change, digital inequalities, and digital well-being (link to the publications) for the division’s recent publications). The new SNSF project aims at conceptually capturing and empirically assessing chilling effects, i.e., inhibitory effects on people’s digital communication behaviors that result from their sense of being surveilled online from an empirical communication science perspective (link to the project).Your responsibilitiesAs a postdoctoral researcher in the team, you will

  • devise and conduct original theoretical and empirical research in the area of digital media use, well-being, social impact of algorithmic selection and AI, governance of media change, privacy, and dataveillance
  • contribute to the project The Chilling Effects of Dataveillance: Conceptual Advances and Empirical Evidence for Switzerland
  • (co)author academic publications
  • participate in academic exchange (e.g., conferences, departmental talks) and support outreach activities that target the public
  • contribute to teaching and student supervision aligned with the division’s teaching priorities, mentor PhD students in the division
  • attain further academic qualifications (e.g., colloquia, research seminars, or summer/winter schools)

Your profile

  • PhD degree in communication or a related discipline
  • Experience with and/or interest in conducting interdisciplinary research on what digitalization means for well-being, reality construction, social order, democracy, privacy, and autonomy
  • Excellent ability to apply *one or more* of the following quantitative methods: mobile experience sampling and analysis of longitudinal data, experimental designs, survey questionnaire design, descriptive and advanced statistics (e.g., structural equation modeling), agent-based simulation or other computational methods
  • Excellent time management, ability to take initiative, and independent work attitude under the guidance of the division chair
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in English and German *or* willingness to acquire a passive understanding of German in the medium term

What we offer

  • Internationally competitive salary
  • An internationally highly successful department: IKMZ is among the top 5 communication science departments in Europe and the top 20 worldwide
  • A supportive, globally connected, research-oriented team with an interdisciplinary approach using innovative methods
  • An excellent opportunity to develop academic qualifications and gain credentials and experience in the interdisciplinary fields of digital media use, well-being, algorithms, governance, privacy, and dataveillance
  • Strong support for career development, including funding opportunities for conference travel and summer/winter schools
  • An attractive work environment: the University of Zurich is one of Switzerland’s leading universities in a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that regularly ranks as one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world

The planned starting date for this position is 1 January 2022 or upon agreement.The deadline for applications is 1 November 2021. Review starts immediately and early submissions are encouraged, but the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Please submit your application containing your CV including a list of publications and conference presentations, grade transcripts, copy of degrees, up to three selected publications (e.g., journal articles, dissertation chapter), and a short letter of motivation (max. 2 pages A4).The contract is for 3.5 years and can be renewed.Apply here:

Deadline: 31 October 2021
Institute for Information Law (IViR)
“Science Fiction & Information Law" Short Story Competition

How will AI and automation write our news, predict our careers and re-invent concepts such as justice, art, property, health, love and happiness? What will such a reality look like, how can we imagine society, its institutions and regulations? Will there be a role for law at all, will it give us or AI new rights, or will governments surrender to the superior expertise of tech companies and quantum computers? And after having lived through an entire year of doom and pandemics, are there any hopeful scenarios we can imagine in co-existence with technology?

The best essays will be awarded the IViR Science Fiction & Information Law Award by an independent jury (including, among others, Malka Older, Ryan Calo, Wolfgang Schulz). The winning authors will be invited to Amsterdam for a symposium and a grand dinner. At this public symposium the essays and the ideas in the essays will be introduced to an audience of academics and non-academics, kicking off a lively discussion about how they can inspire our thinking about a future society with AI, but also regulatory projects, such as the pending AI regulation. Together, these contributions will be published in the form of a special issue in a dedicated open access online journal.


For any questions, please feel free to contact Natali Helberger ( The deadline for this call for stories is 30 November 2021.
You can submit your story to

You can find more information about this 2nd edition of the IViR Science Fiction & Information Law writing competition here. For the winning stories from the first edition, click here.

Deadline: 30 November 2021
University of Hamburg, German Association of  Cultural Anthropology and Folklore Studies
Call for Papers: Digital Futures in the Making

9th dgv Conference of the Section “Digitisation in Everyday Life” of the German Association of  Cultural Anthropology and Folklore Studies (dgv) 

Digital Futures in the Making: Imaginaries, Politics, and Materialities 

15-16 September 2022 (tbc) 

Institute of Anthropological Studies in Culture and History, University of Hamburg

Digital processes and their profound impact on everyday lives are connected to various, sometimes  contradictory imaginations and scenarios. What will digital futures look like, and what directions are  possible and desirable? How do ideas of digital futures already shape the present? This conference  aims to explore processes of emergence, improvisation, and contingency in developing, designing,  and using digital media and technologies. The study of future-making is an emerging field in  anthropology, connecting the perspective from the past and present as an object of anthropological  inquiry (Macdonald 2012) with the orientation on the (near) future (Rabinow 2003; Collier & Lakoff  2005; Smith et al. 2016; Bryant & Knight 2019). Futures (in plural) relate both to the creation of  imaginations as well as practices of the possible in situations of everyday life where ‘living’ and the  idea of a good life is at stake (Collier & Lakoff 2005). 

As digital transformations profoundly shape and change everyday life in the present, they raise questions of how one should live (Collier & Lakoff 2005) in the digital age. Digital technologies are  already part of “our” everyday lives, although some people and groups face more barriers than  others due to the strong link between social and digital inequalities (van Dijk 2005; Robinson et al.  2015). Imagining and designing digital futures are closely linked with ethical negotiations about sustainability, equality and participation in European societies. In addition, we need to take into  account the often-invisible materiality of digital media and technologies (Reichert & Richterich  2015). How can we as ethnographers engage in ongoing processes of envisioning and designing the  futures in and for digitisation? How can ideas about potential futures guide the development and  implementation of digital technologies? How can a diverse range of people, groups and materialities  be involved in their development? What sites of controversy or contestation become apparent?  What kind of established or new scientific methods are necessary to study digital futures in the  making? 

We welcome submissions that discuss and demonstrate people-oriented and/or future-oriented  approaches that acknowledge the open-endedness and contingency of (digital) cultures, as well as  those that address broader methodological and epistemological issues pertaining to the processes of  envisioning and designing the futures in and for digitisation. 

We strongly encourage the participation of early-career researchers of all levels (PhD & post-doc),  young professionals and graduate research students interested in future-making and digitisation. Possible themes include but are not limited to: 

  • How should we live in the digital age: What are modes of living that acknowledge the open endedness and contingency of digital cultures? Which imaginaries or even utopias are envisioned? How do they already shape ongoing digital transformations? 
  • Mundanisation of digital technologies: How do people negotiate futures and appropriate the  digital within their everyday lives? Which resistances, counterculture(s), and creative  practices emerge in everyday life and social movements?
  • Digital infrastructuring and materialities: In this section, we are concerned with not only the  often-hidden infrastructures (including data, code, algorithms, etc.), in which power and  governmentality are embedded and materialised, but also with the profound knowledge gap  that exists between platforms, institutions, and the vast majority of people that use and co produce digital media. Furthermore, we are interested in how digital expressions, artefacts,  and the stakeholders who develop them shape how digital cultures are realised. 
  • Futures of digital anthropology and open science: Digital media have also become  instruments of analysis of researchers in cultural anthropology and related disciplines of  technoscience. Open science poses new challenges to ethnographic research with regard to  research data management, data infrastructures and ethics. How do digital technologies  create new possibilities for ethnographic research and academic knowledge production  itself? What challenges and ethical questions may arise for qualitative and empirical  research in sensitive fields? 

The conference theme seeks to address a broad spectrum of research fields, including health,  naturecultures, foodways, urban and regional development, disaster studies, digital heritage and  memory, dataficiation and platformisation, artificial intelligence, (academic) working and  organisational cultures, cultural diversity and (flight) migration, radicalisation, participatory design,  citizen science and engaged anthropology, digital methods, etc. 

We welcome individual papers and panels as well as experimental workshops and transdisciplinary  studios to discuss everything from ongoing research, collaborations, methodological challenges, and  empirical work to new ideas. We are planning to publish the contributions resulting from this call in  an international publication. 

Please send a 300-word abstract (in English or German) and a short biography (in English) to by 5 December 2021. 

Important dates: 

– Abstract deadline: 5 December 2021 

– Notification of acceptance: 21 January 2022 

– Registration opens: 15 June 2022 

While we recognise that international travel remains uncertain, we have limited our call to on-site  presentations at a physical conference at the University of Hamburg. We will, however, stream  keynote addresses for everyone. 

Registration is required. The final conference dates will be confirmed by November 2021. A room for  childcare will be provided. 

Organisers: Samantha Lutz, Anna Oechslen, Hannah Rotthaus, Quoc-Tan Tran 


Bryant, R., & Knight, D. M. (2019). The Anthropology of the Future. Cambridge: Cambridge University  Press. 

Collier, S. J., & Lakoff, A. (2005). On Regimes of Living. In A. Ong & S. J. Collier (Eds.), Global  Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (pp. 22–39). Malden,  MA: Blackwell Publishing. 

Koch, G. (Ed.). (2017). Digitisation: Theories and Concepts for Empirical Cultural Research. Abingdon,  Oxon: Routledge.  

Macdonald, S. (2012). Presencing Europe’s Pasts. In U. Kockel, M. Nic Craith, & J. Frykman (Eds.), A  Companion to the Anthropology of Europe (233-252). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Rabinow, P. (2003). Anthropos today: Reflections on modern equipment. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton  University Press.  

Reichert, R., & Richterich, A. (2015). Introduction: Digital Materialism. Digital Culture & Society, 1(1),  5–17. 

Robinson, L., Cotten, S. R., Ono, H., Quan-Haase, A., Mesch, G., Chen, W., . . . Stern, M. J. (2015).  Digital Inequalities and Why They Matter. Information, Communication & Society, 18(5), 569–582. Smith, R. C. (Ed.). (2016). Design anthropological futures: Exploring emergence, intervention and  formation. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic.  

Van Dijk, J. (2005). The deepening divide: Inequality in the information society. Thousand Oaks: Sage  Publications.

Deadline: 5 December 2021
ODECO - 15 PhD Projects

ODECO offers 15 PhD projects for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), each of them covering a specific part of the open data ecosystem supervised by leading European beneficiaries. Find more information here.

ODECO is a 4-year Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network initiative. The central aim of the ODECO consortium network is to train the next generation of creative and innovative early stage open data researchers, to unlock their creative and innovative potential to address current and future challenges in the creation of user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystem.


Deadline: 31 August 2021
Doctoral Researcher at Legal Tech Lab

The “Smart City Technologies’ Long-Term Human Rights Risks” project is looking for a full-time grant-funded doctoral researcher for a 36-month period (starting from September 2021 or as agreed). Our project is funded by the Kone Foundation. The researcher will receive a monthly grant from the Kone Foundation and will be hosted at the Legal Tech Lab, University of Helsinki, Finland.
The grantee will be affiliated with the Faculty of Law, the Legal Tech Lab, at the University of Helsinki. The appointees’ duties will be conducting independent doctoral research either by writing a monography or compilation of articles on the topic of “Ethical and legal challenges in data governance and algorithmic decision-making in Smart Cities.”

The appointee will be a group member in the Smart City Technologies’ Long-Term Human Rights Risks project (directed by Dr. Alina Wernick), which investigates the implications of applying Internet- of-Things, data science, artificial intelligence, including facial recognition technologies in an urban context. Such technologies are envisioned to bring a range of benefits to the cities: increased efficiency in traffic management, sustainability energy savings and provision of better-tailored services to citizens. While these solutions are actively piloted across the globe, it is unclear what their long-term implications on citizen’s fundamental rights, such as dignity, data protection and freedom from non- discrimination, as well as municipalities’ sovereignty and competition will be. More information about the legal tech lab can be found here.

Deadline: 15 August 2021
Postdoctoral Researcher

The Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher (1.0 fte, 1,5 years). We are looking for someone with a background in competition law and/or platform regulation who will be part of a legal research project studying how to protect the autonomy of individuals and businesses vis-à-vis digital giants in a data-driven society.

Find more information here.

Call for Papers: International Conference “Criticism and circumvention of control and surveillance on the Internet”

The team of the ResisTIC project (“The Net Resisters: Criticizing and escaping digital coercion in Russia”, funded by the French National Agency for Research-ANR /, releases a call for papers for the international conference “Criticism and circumvention of control and surveillance on the Internet”. Selected contributions will address the resistance and adaptation strategies that Internet users deploy to counter new national and international web regulations, the social practices and techniques for circumventing digital constraints, and the reconfigurations of politics as they are challenged by contemporary information and communication technologies.

Deadline: 1 September 2021
Call for Papers: Regulating digital markets: enforcement and remedies

On 25 and 26 November 2021, the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) & the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) are organizing an online workshop entitled ‘ Regulating digital markets: enforcement and remedies’.

 Keynote speakers are Anne-Lise Sibony and Ryan Calo. The call for papers is available here.

We welcome abstracts and papers from various fields and disciplines (incl. law, economics, sociology, data science) that reflect on how to create effective enforcement and how to design effective remedies for digital markets.

Virtual Research Sprint: “Toward an African Narrative on Digital Sovereignty”

Are you eager to shape the discourse on the role of the internet for sustainable development and personal freedom in your country? Wonder what the future of our world would look like when we are digitised? Are you interested in harnessing artificial intelligence, big data and other fourth industrial revolution technologies to create fairer and better societies? Do you want to create the narrative and work toward concrete policy impact? If yes, become part of our 2021 virtual sprint on African Digital Sovereignty!  Application deadline: Sunday, 23 May 2021, 11:59 pm Central African Time.
The Virtual Research Sprint is part of the NoC research project “The Ethics of Digitalisation – From Principles to Practices”, which aims to develop viable answers to challenges at the intersection of ethics and digitalisation.
You can find more information about the project and the Research Sprint here.

Deadline: 30 July 2021
Cambridge - MA (United States)
PhD Position In Legal Theory & Legal Tech

Looking for a doctoral student with expertise in legal theory and legal technologies to investigate the use of blockchain and decentralized applications and their impact on the governance of public and private institutions. The researcher will be expected to explore the qualification of blockchain technology as a regulatory technology and its impact on the rule of law. The project is 5 year long, EU-funded, hosted at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (France) and the European University Institute (Italy), with Principal Investigator and advisors from the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. For more information, open this PDF.

Dresden (Germany)
Call for Abstracts: Artificial Intelligence as a Concept in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Which concepts are particularly well suited for a better understanding of AI, especially with regard to its complex embeddedness in social and cultural realities? How can we work on a common language toward a shared understanding of AI? Which bodies of knowledge can be adopted as a source of inspiration and which concepts are better discarded altogether? The interdisciplinary conference organized by Schaufler Kolleg at TU Dresden will take place on 1-3 December 2021. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2021. For more information, visit this page.

Deadline: 3 December 2021

About the European Hub of the Global Network of Centers for Internet and Society (NoC)

The European members of the Global Network of Centers for Internet and Society (NoC) launched the European Hub in October 2017 with the aim to  support cooperation between internet researchers in Europe and to strengthen European internet research on an international level. The Hub serves as a regional chapter of the NoC, as foreseen in the NoC Roadmap 2017/18.

Independent and interdisciplinary research on the opportunities and challenges of digital technology and innovation stands at the core of the Hub’s work. Potential endeavors embrace the creation of a common European research agenda, regional workshops and conferences, as well as the development of guidelines and ethical standards for internet research.


Current lead of the European Hub: Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) Interested in the work of the European Hub of the NoC? Interested in publishing your event? Please contact Nadine Birner at

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society gGmbH
Französische Straße 9, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel. +49 30 200 760 82

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