Global Internet Governance and International Human Rights: Whose Rights, Whose Interpretations?
Calls for states, but also companies to ensure the compliance of digital tools and products with international human rights standards are ever-present. While this abstract goal has become somewhat of a globalist consensus, the legal, political, and institutional conditions needed to get there are far from clear: how can international human rights law initiate improvements in different areas, given its indeterminate, often even disputed nature? What are the risks of the reference to international human rights law, in terms of stabilizing preexisting disparities or power concentrations through illusive improvements? Where does the reference to human rights only provide a new, improved language for a non-improved status quo? Could private internet companies provide a protection of human rights online comparable to that of judicial institutions? Ultimately, whose human rights, and whose interpretations are determining the present and future of global internet governance? This event invites scholars and actors in the practice and policy world to re-examine and revisit the state and role of human rights in the digital world, as this is shaped by technological and political economic changes of ‘platformisation’, privatization of public spaces, erosion and abuse of certain rights, the pressure imposed on a decade of successive crises from financial, environmental to health, and the re-emergence of authoritarian politics and modes of governance.
In recent years, the everyday life of humanity has been affected dramatically by the experience of a global pandemic, where public health political responses have been met with varying degrees of acceptance. The severity and nature of this impact differs greatly among regions and within societies, across genders and socioeconomic discrepancies, bringing back to the fore the persistence and deeply engrained footprint of social inequalities. Within this context of emergency, crisis and exacerbation of heightened physical and mental health crisis across the globe is intertwined with a long and arduous struggle in governing digital platforms for the benefit of humanity vis-a-vis the profit driven dominant model. The latter has impacted not only on the ways in which users on platforms are adjusted to the needs of the platform, systematically and technologically through the use of AI, rather than the opposite, but have also impacted on understandings and conceptualizations of fundamental freedoms and rights, as they are shaping social conceptualizations of what privacy means, the extent of free speech and hate speech, the extent of misinformation and the exercise of informational rights.
After having addressed “Global Internet Governance as a Diplomacy Issue” at its first edition in 2017, “Overcoming Inequalities in Internet Governance” in 2018, “Europe as a Global Player in Internet Governance” in 2019, and “Online Information Governance” in 2020, The European Multidisciplinary Conference on Global Internet Governance Actors, Regulations, Transactions and Strategies turns its attention this year to the governance of human rights in the digital world, continuing the conversation on global internet governance from attention to institutions and structural factors to the role of content and misinformation as an object of governance, and internet actors as forces of change.
In addition to general internet governance issues and topics, submissions are particularly welcome on the following possible areas of investigation:
- How human rights translate in a digital world: losses, gains and shifting of priorities
- Human rights duties and responsibilities of respective internet governance stakeholders
- From high-level panels on digital cooperation to digital conventions: towards a new digital world order?
- The role of European and global institutions in shaping the conditions of human rights and democracy online
- Global platforms, conflicts of jurisdictions and extraterritorial legislations
- Weaponization of platforms to interfere in political processes and harass individuals and groups – Responsibility and liability of platforms and other intermediaries in content regulation
- Governance from below: practices and principles by civil society aiming to shape the conditions of technology – Restrictive regulation and the securitization of content
- Structural role of individual targeting, behavioral advertising and other economic models of online platforms on the reshaping of fundamental freedoms and democracy
- Privacy, misinformation, democracy: challenges to internet governance
- From nudging to manipulation: consequences on autonomy and human dignity
- Freedom of expression, freedom of the press and democracy
- Youth and other vulnerable groups: access to information, news and misinformation in the online world
Submission information and publication Opportunities
Authors are invited to submit their extended abstracts (no longer than 500 words), describing their research question(s), theoretical framework, approach and methodology, expected findings or empirical outcome. Submitted abstracts will be evaluated through a peer-review process. Abstracts and authors’ information should be submitted through the Easychair conference management system at:
Authors of selected submissions will have the opportunity to submit their full manuscript for publication.
Conference Grant for Students
The GIG-ARTS conference and the Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut are proud to encourage the participation of emerging researchers through the HBI/GIG-ARTS Emerging Scholars Network project set up in 2022. Up to 10 exceptional submissions from emerging researchers will be selected to receive a grant of 500 EUR each, to help cover their conference participation costs. Masters or PhD Students who have not yet been awarded a PhD by the time of the conference are eligible.
In addition to presenting their work at GIG-ARTS 2022, the grantees will share their research via a short blog post on the HBI’s Media Research Blog, Podcast, or another science transfer format and will join a set of network building sessions leading up to the conference.
To be considered for the grant programme, Masters or PhD students must, in addition to the abstract submission process set out above, notify the Co-Chairs of their application for the conference grant via an email to: email@example.com; no additional documents are required.
- Deadline for abstract submissions: 1st February 2022
- Notification to authors: 1st March 2022
- Authors registration (at least one author must register for a selected presentation to appear on the programme): From 1st to 14 March 2022
- Programme publication: 21 March 2022
- Online registration: From 21 to 31 March 2022
- Conference dates: 13 & 14 April 2022
GIG-ARTS 2022 will be held at Frederick University, Nicosia Campus, situated in the Pallouriotissa area, just two kilometers from the city center. We are hopeful that we could meet there in person next Spring. However, if the sanitary conditions are such that travels are suspended, the conference will be turned into an online event.
Conference Registration and Fees
Registration fees are 100 euro for regular participants and 50 euro for students showing proof of status. The conference fees include a participant kit as well as coffee breaks and meals.
GIG-ARTS 2022 Communication Details
- Website: https://www-npa.lip6.fr/gig-arts/conference/gig-arts-2022/
- Email for information: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submissions: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=gigarts2022
- Twitter: @GigArtsEU – Hashtag: #GIGARTS22
- Mailing list for updates: http://tinyurl.com/yc7rvxm4