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The ACES Governing Europe theme group and the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam and the research project “The Governance of Big Data in Trade Agreements” at the University of Lucerne invite you to submit abstracts for a special issue we are editing on *‘Governing “European values” inside data flows’ in the Internet Policy Review.*

Transnational data flows pose significant challenges for sovereignty at large as well as for discrete public policies. In the last decade, the cross-border movement of digital services and products as well as the underlying data have been disruptive to a range of European legal frameworks, such as in particular personal data and consumer protection, and have strongly impacted on critical public interests, such as cultural diversity or democratic elections. At the same time, Europe’s connectedness is beneficial for digital trade and a critical prerequisite for data-driven innovation and growth, which are high on the agenda on the European Union (EU) and its member states.

Identifying approaches and concrete strategies that can protect human rights and certain societal values inside global data flows could strike a balance between the rule of law and innovation policy that crucially undergirds a robust information civilization. The disintermediation of human rights in transnational settings is well documented in the case of data privacy which has led to the shoring up of the EU’s data protection law. Transnational algorithmic systems will pose new challenges to individual rights guaranteed under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Aside from individual rights, there are European societal values, such as cultural diversity and democratic participation, which need to be reconciled with the economic rationale of contemporary data-driven societies.

It is precisely the aim of the proposed special issue to encourage out-of-the box thinking and generate ideas that can make the reconciliation between certain values and flows. Contributions will identify the concrete individual or societal value in relation to which they will develop innovative approaches to its governance without disrupting otherwise beneficial data flows. 

We invite paper abstracts/ pitches, to be developed per invitation into an article. All authors of the selected manuscripts that are submitted on time (see deadline below) will be invited to present and discuss their draft papers at an international workshop held in Amsterdam on 29 January 2021. We are planning for an onsite, one-day event but we will also seek opportunities for authors to participate online. The purpose of the workshop is to enable an interdisciplinary conversation and exchange of ideas on this timely issue, and provide peer-feedback for the finalisation of the manuscripts for submission to the special issue in Internet Policy Review, which is an open access and peer-reviewed journal on internet regulation. We expect a substantial added value to the current literature as well as distinct take-aways for policymakers and others interested in the topics in various capacities.


The call for abstracts and associated timeline can be found here: 

Special issue editors

  • Mira Burri, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Lucerne
  • Kristina Irion, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Stefania Milan, Associate Professor of New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam
  • Ans Kolk, Professor, Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam