The EU Cyber Diplomacy Initiative – EU Cyber Direct is partnering with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joining forces with research institutions and civil society organisations around the world to organise the third edition of the Closing the Gap Conference, taking place on 6 and 7 December 2023 in The Hague, Netherlands. This two-day, in person, conference aims to explore regional perspectives on emerging and disruptive digital technologies.
The motivation for this thematic focus is threefold:
- To de-center approaches to emerging and disruptive digital technologies that have largely been Western/European centric;
- To explore the diversity of interpretations regarding associated challenges and opportunities;
- To enrich the state of the art with novel research ideas, theoretical insights, and empirical case studies.
In 2021, the sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts focusing on ICTs in international security explicitly mentioned emerging technologies in its consensus report for the first time. In doing so, the report stated that 'new and emerging technologies are expanding development opportunities,' whilst noting that they 'may also have important human rights and ICT security implications.' Taking this acknowledgement as its point of departure, and recognising that these technologies and their associated risks, opportunities, controversies and threats may differ across geographies, the 2023 Closing the Gap Conference will explore regional interpretations of what is and can be considered emergent and disruptive digital technologies. Contributors are invited to consider a broad range of digital technologies such as (but not limited to) mobile, fintech, AI, quantum computing, 5G, IoT, biometrics, and blockchain, in both the military and civil spheres.
In keeping the thematic focus broad, the conference aims to bring to the fore a variety of perspectives, ideas, and mechanisms from different disciplines to inform policymakers, cyber diplomats and academics, as well as contribute to evidence-based policymaking. Scholars are welcomed from fields as diverse as international relations, security studies, political science, law, behavioural science, computer science, science and technology studies, sociology, and communication studies. The conference is aimed at both emerging and established academics, think tankers and researchers, and early career researchers are highly encouraged to apply.
The conference has three primary objectives:
- Forging collaboration between scholars and practitioners to produce evidence-based policymaking and policy-relevant research;
- Encouraging productive exchanges between different generations of scholars (emerging and established researchers), sectors (government, private sector, academia, NGOs) and regions (Global South-North);
- Fostering interdisciplinary approaches and encouraging discussions between disciplines.
- Luca Belli, Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School / CyberBRICS
- Dennis Broeders, The Hague Program on International Cyber Security / Leiden University
- Fréderick Douzet, University of Paris 8 / GÉODE
- Maria Lorena Florez Rojas, University of Groningen
- Caitríona Heinl, University College Dublin
- Margaret E. Kosal, Georgia Tech
- Chantal Lavallee, Royal Military College of St-Jean
- Lu Chuanying, Shanghai Institute for International Studies
- Bruno Oliveira Martins, PRIO
- Tal Mimran, Hebrew University of Jersusalem
- Patryk Pawlak, European University Institute, Italy
- Nanjira Sambuli, Carnegie
- Elke Schwarz, Queen Mary University of London
6 April 2023: Publication of call for abstracts
1 June 2023: Deadline for submission of abstracts
15 June 2023: Information to selected authors
15 October 2023: Deadline for submission of draft papers
20 November 2023: Feedback from review committee of papers
6-7 December 2023: Closing the Gap 2023 conference
29 February 2024: Deadline for revised/final papers
Summer 2024: Publication of the edited volume