Our research focuses on selected issues of online platforms and governance. It has a distinct multidisciplinary approach, a policy orientation, and a special interest in an international perspective.

Online Platforms

Platform companies, such as US-based Alphabet-Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and China’s Tencent and Alibaba, have arisen as the digital infrastructure of our time, restructuring our economies and societies and transforming our ways of living.

Online platforms are expected to lead to a more connected world, enabling users to bypass established institutions, cumbersome regulations, all at less expense, resulting in a stronger, more vibrant, and more inclusive society.

Our research into platforms will primarily focus on the following areas:

  • Platforms and news transformation
  • Platforms and online speech
  • Platforms and media policy
  • Platform economy & platform society


The programme researches how governance is evolving in a platform era and in a changing world order. Platforms are now sitting between traditional nation states and individuals, using algorithms to govern their communities that consist of millions or even billions of users.

The changing world order, notably the rise of China and the withdrawal of the United States from internationalism, has also posed new challenges to the old governance models. Our research on governance focuses on the following key areas:

  • Internet governance
  • Global governance
  • Models of governance
  • Governance and constitutions