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Thinking from the Edges: Internet Policy in Eastern Partnership Countries

Kierownictwo projektu:

  • Dr. Ben Wagner,

Zespół projektu:

  • Joanna Bronowicka, M.A.,
  • Dr. Ben Wagner,
  • Kilian Vieth

Instytucja finansująca:

Brandenburg Ministry of Sciences, Research and Cultural Affairs (Seed Money)

Czas trwania projektu:

Januar 2016 – Dezember 2016


Opis projektu:

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

In this project, we want to take a closer look at internet polices in the Eastern Partnership countries. Eastern Partnership countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Torn between two large geopolitical blocks, those six countries are very vulnerable to the growing mistrust between Brussels and Moscow. Strong trade and investment links to both Russia and Europe force them to make decisions which can be politically hard and economically costly. Internet policy is one of the areas most affected by competing human rights discourses and trade interests.

Ukraine and Armenia are interesting case studies because they both have recently switched geopolitical alliances. Ukraine signed the EU association agreement in 2014 and Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015. Our working hypothesis is that geopolitics will affect how Internet policy is developed, but can be mitigated by other economic or social factors, such as the strength of actors from the private sector or civil society.

As part of this project, we will create a network of researchers at Viadrina and other universities interested in the subject. We will also host a two-day workshop at Viadrina in March 2016. If you are interested in participating in the network, contact us at

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