Our Mission Statement can be found here

Even though scholars working in mainstream International Relations (IR) frequently make reference to the impact of international communication technologies (ICTs) on existing political, economic and social structures, they fail to grant the Internet a special focus of inquiry.

Issues of electronic commerce, domain name assignment, pornography, universal access and the like provide confusion for states, corporations and 'netizens' alike. To explore the regulatory minefields that accompany these issues leads into somewhat uncharted waters.

Given the steadily growing significance of the Internet and its various applications, there exists an indisputable need to increase our understanding of the practical and theoretical implications of this global medium from a political science perspective.

The UIS aims at closing this gap by the formation of a co-operative, non-for profit research unit, exclusively dedicated to the analysis of the impact of the Internet on IR.

Who we are

The UIS was set up by two researchers of Internet issues, Marc Holitscher (Zurich) and Jamal Shahin (Heerlen). They met on the Internet and after working together for a while decided to start up the Unit in July 1999, which is supposed to provide a forum for discussion and information on Internet Governance related issues.

The Unit seeks to support research in this field by providing a common platform for interested parties. Its members will have the opportunity to submit their work for discussion and make use of a general information service (mailing list) in order to notify others of conferences, workshops, publications etc.

What we do

Members of the UIS will be able to put short descriptions of their individual projects on the website and provide further links to their resources. Through its mailing list, the UIS hopes to engage people into lively discussions on a wide variety of topics related to the Internet/IR bias.

How we do it

Making use of the very technologies associated with the Internet, it is the primary objective of the UIS to build a widespread network of people studying the Internet who enjoy sharing ideas and are interested to learn what their colleagues are doing.

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