About PGG

Online platforms have penetrated our societies and become the infrastructural services of our time.  Their impact on the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of life is profound and bound to increase, offering great promise yet posing risks.

The Platforms, Governance and Global Society (PGG) programme mainly focuses on two issues:

  1. The rise of online platforms as infrastructural services and their political, economic, and cultural influence;

  2. Governance in an era of platforms and a changing world order. 

We aim to examine and explain the issues to which platforms give rise. For instance: what are the implications for news, journalism and freedom of speech? how do they affect and change the existing structures and what are the consequences? how are they to be controlled and governed?

Our study of platforms includes not only the US-based giants, such as Alphabet-Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, but also the Chinese platform companies like Tencent and Alibaba. This approach will help to bridge the existing research on Western and Chinese platforms. At the moment, Chinese platforms are the closest comparable competitors to the US-based platforms in an economic sense, though currently their influence is mainly within China’s domestic market.

The other main area of research is governance. Governance refers to the setting and enforcement of standards with respect to an area of social activity. It covers social relations in all their forms: economic, political, and cultural.

Governance occurs at many levels: nationally, regionally, locally, and internationally. It takes varying forms: (1) governance by an empowered authority such as the state; (2) governance by agreement among several parties, a common feature at international and regional levels; (3) self-governance where the organization decides its own standards; and (4) more novel and emerging forms of governance, such as collaborative governance where two or more bodies, often very different in character and purpose, work together for mutual advantage.

The two core research areas are connected. Platforms pose new issues for governance, combining different models, drawing on but also undermining orthodox models. How to govern the new territory of technological innovation, especially powerful platforms situated between individual users and national governments, is an issue not only relating to the future of technology innovation, but also concerning the future of our economy and society.

Global society is the setting of our research. While we define global society as the totality of society, international, regional, national, and local, this programme has a special interest in the international perspective.


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Our upcoming events

Art Exhibition
19 - 19
Jan Jan
The Ways We See Private View
Sunday 19 January - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Oxford Photographers Exhibition with artists Mark Crean, Howard Stanbury, Darrell Godliman, Alexander Gordon, Judith Taylor, John Duncan, Philip King, Duncan Taylor, Karen Morecroft. Please join us for drinks and nibbles at the Private View to celebrate the opening of The Ways We See.

Art Exhibition
20 - 13
Jan Mar
The Ways We See
Monday 20 January - 10:00am to Friday 13 March - 7:00pm

Oxford Photographers Exhibition with artists Mark Crean, Howard Stanbury, Darrell Godliman, Alexander Gordon, Judith Taylor, John Duncan, Philip King, Duncan Taylor, and Karen Morecroft. Open daily 10am - 7pm subject to College commitments. Visitors are advised to telephone the College Lodge on (01865) 274100 before visiting.

Sports & Wellness
21 - 21
Jan Jan
Mixed Circuits
Tuesday 21 January - 6:00pm to 7:15pm

Mixed Circuits are organised by the Boat Club and run every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 PM all year round in the Games Room. Free and open to all members of college, the sessions are great for rowers keeping fit in the off-season, as a supplement to regular training, or for non-rowers who want to get a bit of exercise while seeing the enthusiasm of the Boat Club first-hand. The workout consists of a few sets of “body-weight” exercises, including crunches, press-ups, squats, etc.