Data Networks Research

Data networks have become an essential factor for politics and society in many regions of the world throughout the late 20th and early 21st century. The expansion of data networks and increasing data transfers have an intense impact on political, economic and social developments in some parts of the world while other parts are struggling with unequal distribution of data networks and network infrastructure.

Data networks can be understood as systems made up of limited or unlimited quantities of points (or nodes), designed to transfer or access information through different types of protocols and algorithms. Important parts of data networks are physical infrastructure (sometimes referred to as critical infrastructure), unique identifiers like IP addresses, servers, different types of computers and devices, hardware and software. One of the very important and also the largest data network of today is the Internet.

Infrastructure of data networks, data transfer, data storage and content are bringing together technical, technological, political, social and economic components that are mutually influencing each other. To be able to analyze the reciprocal impact of data networks on social environments and organizations it is necessary to combine knowledge and understanding of technology and social sciences of its diverse sections and subjects. Multidisciplinary thinking is of central importance to create an intersection of academic research from the perspective of political science, international relations, information technology, economy, engineering, communication and other relevant areas.

NUPRI’s first step to address data network research from a political and social science perspective took place in 2013 when it set up a panel for its first event on Internet Governance discussing different key aspects and perspectives from Brazil and Argentina. Since then, NUPRI has continuously shown interest in the extension of its activities in the field which finally resulted in the conceptual development of the Data Networks Research area in 2017 and its launch in 2018.

The Data Networks Research area is interested in a number of research topics including questions of global and regional impacts, developments, and regional discrepancies of Internet Governance, cybersecurity, historical and theoretical approaches of data networks, Internet development and infrastructure, political economy of the Internet and more. A special interest lies on regional questions of the LAC region and the global South. The working and communication languages are Portuguese, Spanish and English.