There's a tendency for academic work to be carried out in isolation. This is especially noticeable in the field of the Internet, due to the lack of established ways and means of discussing the multidimensional and interdisciplinary issues that are raised. The UIS, with this in mind, aims to forge links between researchers in this complex field of study.

Recognising that:

  1. the implications of many legal and political decisions taken now necessitate a raising of awareness of the importance of understanding the Internet and its relation to society;
  2. the Internet's broad implications are still unnoticed in much academic work;
  3. there is a need for systematic, interdisciplinary Internet Studies to be carried out;
  4. there is no currently existing forum for presentation and discussion of Internet-related research;

the UIS was conceived.This Unit has several fundamental aims:

  1. to promote awareness and research into the consequences of the Internet on political, social and economic structures, with a focus on IR and international relations;
  2. to host an independent and neutral forum where these issues can be studied and discussed;
  3. to elaborate on and develop research carried out by members;
  4. to publicise work carried out by members.

To these ends, the UIS intends to:

  1. maintain a website and discussion list;
  2. involve members in an exchange of ideas and information;
  3. cooperate with other organisations involved in the Internet, be they academic, governmental or commercial;
  4. initiate the 'Journal for Internet Studies', a peer-reviewed, online publication which will serve as a catalyst for Unit. (ISSN 1423-9833)
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