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


The latest from Wolfson College

Nicholas Allen. Photo: Wolfson College
24 March 2020
Dr Nicholas Allen (1939-2020)

It is with great sadness that the College has been informed of the death of Dr Nicholas (Nick) Allen, who died on 21 March 2020. Nick was a...

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19 March 2020
Wolfson alumnus Chris Whitty takes the lead in UK's coronavirus response

Chris Whitty is England's chief medical officer and the UK department of health's top scientific adviser.

Wolfson College Architecture
9 March 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Advice and updates from the College. 

Our upcoming events

Annual Lecture
21 - 21
May May
Annual Berlin Lecture 2020
Thursday 21 May - 6:00pm to 7:00pm


Further details including title and abstract to follow. Launched in 1990 to celebrate the 80th birthday of the College's Founding President, Sir Isaiah Berlin, the Berlin Lecture is in his own field of study, the history of ideas. Each Trinity Term, we welcome speakers of the stature of Professor Amartya Sen, Professor Roy Foster, Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Michael Ignatieff and Baroness Helena Kennedy.