Conferences

…and other events

We host a major online conference and facilitate workshops, collaborations, and other informal and formal mechanisms to help build ties between researchers from different cultural, disciplinary, and geographic backgrounds.

Examples include:

  • a workshop on ‘Empirical Approaches in Platform Governance Research,’ hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (Berlin) in Spring 2020
  • the workshop series ‘Against Platform Determinism’, organized in early 2021 at the Data + Society Research Institute (New York) and the Centre for Media, Technology, and Democracy at McGill University (Montreal)
  • a workshop highlighting ‘Radical Approaches to Platform Governance’ hosted by University College Dublin, Ireland, in November 2022

The first international Platform Governance Research Network Conference took place in March 2021. The call for submissions for the next iteration, to be held in Spring 2023, is open.as of October 2022 (deadline: December 18, 2022).

Call for Abstracts: 2023 Conference

Read the full Call for Abstracts

The Platform Governance Research Network brings together researchers interested in ‘platform governance’, broadly defined. From online labor markets and locally-tethered service delivery platforms, to social networks and cloud providers, we are interested in highlighting cutting-edge conceptual and empirical work that engages with the politics and policy of the 21st century ‘platformized’ internet.

We are interdisciplinary, and welcome relevant submissions from a wide range of researchers (who need not be affiliated with academic institutions). 

In particular, we’re interested in:

  • Empirical studies of platform governance from the micro to the macro, utilizing a range of qualitative as well as quantitative, experimental, and/or computational methods. Suitable topics might include, but not be limited to: analyses of the practices of commercial or community platform rule-making and norm-setting; systems-based studies of automated decision-making across various types of platforms; more focused explorations of specific topical issues such as political advertising, disinformation, or copyright.
  • Policy-oriented analyses of private and governmental efforts to regulate platforms across the broad categories of online content, competition policy, labour, data protection, and more. Proposals might include comparative policy analyses or detailed case studies of specific regulatory frameworks and approaches. Research that focuses on under-examined cases, regulatory episodes, or regions is especially welcome.
  • Conceptual or theoretical insights that highlight gaps in the current public or scholarly conceptions of platform governance, as well as normatively oriented work that engages with important questions, visions, and notions for/of platform governance going forward. Submissions might evaluate critical perspectives across a range of scholarly traditions, from science and technology studies to postcolonial and critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies, or political economy.
  • The meta-aspects of scholarly work as it relates to major technology platforms, and the relations between policy, academia, and civil society in the emerging platform governance research and policy landscape. Possible submissions might include work on the best ethical practices for collaborating (or not) with industry, ways to secure privacy-preserving data access for researchers, or strategies used by civil society advocates to push industry and governments in more just directions.

Beyond highlighting the current research landscape, our goal is to identify the major limitations facing researchers from different subfields and spark collaborations that strive to move beyond extant limitations and silos. We are particularly keen on incorporating multiple perspectives from researchers located all around the world, so we encourage submissions from under-represented groups and diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds. We are especially interested in perspectives outside of U.S. and European contexts and will strive to accommodate multiple participant timezones in our programme.

Submission Details

Please submit extended abstracts of 800-1000 words via EasyChair.

Abstracts will be blind peer-reviewed and should include: 

  • a short section framing the context/problem being addressed; 
  • a clear research question; 
  • conceptual framework;
  • details about how the submission seeks to address that question, including its research design and/or conceptual framework; and  
  • a brief discussion of the paper’s contributions to the literature and/or ongoing policy debates.

Authors of selected abstracts will present their ongoing work at the Conference. Submission of a complete paper before the Conference will not be required, although authors might be invited to submit full papers for a Conference Special Issue. 

This conference is open to all interested researchers and members of civil society and will have no registration fee. Please contact info@platgov.net with any questions.

Timeline

  • Deadline for abstract submission: end of day December 18, aka 00:00:00 December 19 anywhere on earth time
  • Accepted Submissions announced: mid-February 2023
  • Conference: April 3-5, 2022, online, exact times TBD; main conference days with presentations April 3 and 4 GMT