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War in Ukraine, Russia’s potential decoupling from the global internet and the changing perspective of emerging powers on internet and data governance

Sep 01, 2022 — Aug 31, 2025

The project investigates authoritarian contestations of an important vehicle of liberal values – the open Internet – as well as of the liberal script in the domain of governance of the Internet and digital economy. It examines the models of “sovereign” Internet and “sovereign” digital economy as alternatives to the liberal script(s) in the digital domain. The authoritarian system in Russia, with its attempts to secure for itself a share in the expected multi-polar digital world order and to create a national digital economy, serves as a case study. A workshop conducted with research partners from Germany and abroad will bring a comparative perspective into the study and inquire into the attractiveness of alternative models of Internet regulation and “sovereign” digital capitalism for other global and emerging powers. In addition to filling a gap in academic research on digital authoritarianism, the project is also of interest to the Berlin policy milieu, including the Bundestag and the Foreign Office, as well as for the general public.