Digital Constitutionalism Network Teaching Partnership

The digital constitutionalism teaching partnership brings together students from partner universities to study and contribute to the field of law and technology governance.

Digital constitutionalism represents the political process of entrenching rights and principles into the global governance of digital technologies, specifically the Internet. Digital constitutionalism does not describe actual legal constitutions, but normative conversations about which rights and principles should govern the Internet – locally, nationally and globally. Digital constitutionalism documents have been proposed by many sectors – including civil society, business, governments, national parliaments, political parties, international organizations – and have emerged both at national levels and transnationally.

The Digital Constitutionalism Network aims to systematically study the political, social, and legal processes involved in this field. Formed in late 2019 from a working group on digital constitutionalism supported by the Bochum-based Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS).

What We Do

As part of the Network’s activities, a number of its members have engaged in a teaching partnership that features common teaching activities that cover topics from our common research agenda. The Digital Constitutionalism Teaching Partnership aims to bring together member universities from across the globe in teaching digital constitutionalism. This partnership brings together students to take part in joint seminars, collaborations, projects and discussions about digital constitutionalism.

Mission Statement

Providing students with a truly transnational experience – partly mediated by digital technologies – learning about the rights-based global governance of the Internet as entailed in the study of digital constitutionalism.

Fostering a conversation among students from different fields and backgrounds so as to articulate a common understanding of digital constitutionalism as a necessarily trans-disciplinary area of knowledge and practice.

For students at the universities of Padova and Salerno: Engaging in a common practical task between the two groups (contribution to the Italian translation of the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet).

Developing a new toolkit for teachers interested in the field of digital constitutionalism, potentially aiming to establish an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership.

Investigating the possibility of a massive open online course (MOOC) as a future format to accompany common on-site teaching activities.

In the spring semester of 2020, Claudia Padovani (Università degli Studi di Padova), Mauro Santaniello (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Edoardo Celeste (Dublin City University) and Dennis Redeker (Universität Bremen) brought together students from their universities to create a diverse digitally connected learning space centred around digital constitutionalism. This common experience was designed as a pilot for future broader partnerships.

In spring 2022, instructors brought together students for a third time with real-time interactions across universities online. Students discussed what digital constitutionalism means to them and collaborate on joint projects, such as document translations, Wikipedia styled entries, interviews with relevant actors.