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[CALL FOR PAPERS] How can Europe be competitive in the field of AI?
15 December 2023

[CALL FOR PAPERS] Internet fragmentation: assessing risks, acknowledging realities and charting the future


Deadline January 15th 2024

Sciences Po Digital, Governance and Sovereignty Chair is opening up a call for papers aimed at researchers and focusing on the issue of Internet fragmentation. 

Who are we?

The Digital, Governance and Sovereignty Chair is an interdisciplinary program within Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs, which brings together researchers to analyse the economic, legal, social and institutional transformations brought by digital innovation. Our objective is to gather insights and perspectives on technology and digital policy from academic research, politics and civil society. 

Topic of submission

The concept of an open internet has experienced substantial transformations in recent years, with the emergence of Internet fragmentation as a tangible reality, fueled by growing government involvement through domestic regulations. Although Europe portrays itself as a strong advocate for a globally open internet, its policies, including stringent regulations like GDPR, DMA, DSA, and the upcoming AI Act, as well as its “digital sovereignty” strategy, paradoxically appear to contribute to internet fragmentation. These policies present challenges to the notion of a fully open, interconnected, and global internet (see K. Komaitis, Internet Fragmentation: why it matters for Europe?, January 2023).

Even more concerning is the rise of Digital Authoritarianism in non-democratic nations like Russia and China, which has prompted these countries to isolate themselves from the global Internet. This trend toward “splinternets” has brought to the forefront the growing divergence in internet standards and protocols (see European Parliament, ‘Splinternets’: Addressing the renewed debate on internet fragmentation, June 2022).

The objective of this research paper is to analyse the prevailing trend of internet fragmentation and evaluate its associated risks, implications, and potential solutions. Is internet fragmentation an unavoidable outcome? Should it be viewed with dismay or acceptance? What steps can the technology community and democratic governments take to mitigate the most severe consequences and ensure the effective protection of fundamental rights?

Applicants eligibility

The call is aimed at all researchers conducting or holding a PhD. Applications from researchers outside the Sciences Po community will be considered.


The selected author will receive a funding of 6,000 Euros, paid upon completion and submission of the study.

Format of application and timeline

Abstracts should be written in English. They should contain the draft title of the research and be no longer than 400 words.

The final research paper is envisaged to be about 70 pages to 100 pages with text double-spaced

The deadline for abstract submissions is January 15 2024. The selected author will be notified by mid February

The final paper will need to be submitted by July 2024. The reviewed version of the papers will be published on the website of the Chair. The Research Paper may also be submitted to major international journals.

Researchers interested in applying to the Call for Papers should submit their abstract to eleonore.devulpillieres@sciencespo.fr by January 15, 2024, 11:59pm.

The application should specify and/or contain: 

  • Title of the research
  • Academic affiliation and title 
  • Research areas and specialisation
  • Email and phone contact
  • The abstract attached in pdf format
  • Link to previous publications [Optional]


Submissions will be assessed on the basis of their quality and relevance by Sciences Po Chair’s Scientific Committee

For any questions, please contact eleonore.devulpillieres@sciencespo.fr