Digital Tech at the Institute
As part of its main strategy, the Institute seeks to develop digitally-driven innovation in teaching and research, as well as information technology (IT) services. At the same time, as a research institution focusing on global challenges and their impacts, the digital turn has become one of its fundamental and policy-oriented research areas.
In terms of research, a growing number of researchers and PhD candidates analyse the impact of digitalisation on international relations and development issues. A few examples of research topics are cybersecurity, hybrid threats and warfare, surveillance technologies, internet governance, digital diplomacy, digital heath, digital rights, digital trust, digital economy, the future of work, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, AI and humanitarian law, AI and peace negotiations among others. The institute has also developed an expertise on using digital and technologies as new research methods, including computational social scientific methods and big data analytics.
In terms of teaching, its Master, PhD, and executive education courses are increasingly focused on the effects of digitalisation on society and the economy, and more generally the global system. Some examples of courses are ‘Digital Approaches to Conflict Prevention’, ‘Digital Innovation in Nature Conservation’, ‘Internet, Technology & International Law’, ‘Introduction to Digital Social Science Research’, ‘Technology, Society and Decision-making’, ‘The Politics of Digital Design’, ‘AI and Politics’, ‘Internet Governance and Economics’, ‘Technology and Development’, ‘Digital Diplomacy and Power Relations on Cyberspace’. Digital skills workshops are also organised for students to provide them with basic digital competence for their future professional or academic life, including big data analysis, introduction to programming with R and Python, and data analysis in various contexts).
The Institute is now involved in the development of a doctoral school on Digital Studies. This is a partnership with UNIL, EPFL, UNIGE, UNINE and UNIFR and will be hosted by the CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale). As part of our membership in SwissUniversities, we also offer since 2019 a very complete program for our doctoral students – Strengthening Digital Skills in Education. The second phase of that program runs from 2021 to 2024.
The Institute also organises workshops, seminars, film screenings, and other events on the digital turn, ranging from the digital divide and the governance and regulatory aspects of data to cybersecurity