Building from the REMIT consortium kick-off meeting in March 2023, members of Work Package 4 (WP4) on “Geopolitics in Technology Governance” convened at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) in Helsinki to further develop research plans on 8-9 June 2023. The two-day meeting was attended by representatives from all WP4 partners including Maastricht University (REMIT consortium leader); FIIA (lead partner for WP4); Babeș-Bolyai University; Erasmus University Rotterdam; and Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli.
The meeting opened on June 8 with discussions on fine-tuning the research methodologies to be utilized within the WP. Emphasis was devoted to adapting Advocacy Coalition Frameworks (ACFs) for the geopolitical challenges in global technology governance through the perspectives of the EU, the US and China. This was discussed in tandem with how the ACF might be deployed in publications being developed within the WP (peer-reviewed journal articles, journal special issues, edited volumes and policy publications). Interlinking themes and connections with other REMIT Work Packages were also discussed.
Following a productive morning programme, after-lunch discussions turned to divisions-of-labour among researchers within the WP. There was a focus on coordination for publication editing roles and which researchers would be responsible for coordinating important geopolitical and technological subject themes within the WP. This was followed by brainstorming and discussion on different trends in the current geopolitical outlooks of the EU, US and China in global technology governance and insights were gathered that might help to guide new ideas for publications or events in early development within the WP. After many details were deliberated and discussed, the opening day of the meeting concluded with dinner on Suomenlinna, an island in the Helsinki Archipelago.
Day two of the meeting began on June 9 with a brief recap on the previous day’s discussions before moving onto a presentation on the draft version of the handbook for the ACF for use across the consortium delivered by REMIT’s principal investigator Professor Roberta Haar from Maastricht University with a follow-up presentation from Hengyi Yang (also Maastricht University) detailing literature and resources of assistance when applying the ACF. The REMIT team from the University of Tartu leading Work Package 6 on dissemination then joined the meeting via video conference call. Different dissemination options linking WP4 and WP6 were discussed and the dissemination calendar for WP4 was reviewed and clarified. The two-day meeting concluded with notes on further steps for WP4 aims; dates for further meetings to be held online; and a farewell lunch.
The meeting organizers at FIIA hope that all found the two days in Helsinki productive and inspiring for future research aims!
The author Eoin McNamara is representing the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in REMIT. He is working on research focus areas “Normative Construction of Technology Governance”, “Geopolitics in Technology Governance”, and “Economic and Social Aspects of Technology Governance”.
Photos from the meeting in the gallery by Roberta Haar.