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DSA research network

The introduction of the Digital Services Act (DSA) has ushered in a new era of regulatory challenges. The implementation of the new rules raises a number of complex questions. In the process, the role and self-image of social interest groups must also be redefined. How can the right balance be struck between data protection and freedom of expression in the online world? Which groups can make what contribution? Academia, civil society, NGOs, think tanks and regulatory authorities are discussing this issue in controversial terms. Some are in favour of tighter regulations, while others are concerned about restrictions on freedom of expression.

The research project DSA research network aims to bring together the stakeholders involved and create a communication platform for collaboration. It will create a platform for DSA reform proposals well before this is routinely done by the Commission and Parliament. Together with experts from across Europe, the implementation of the Digital Services Act will be monitored and improved through various joint research and networking projects. Evidence-based research and transdisciplinary collaboration will enable well-founded decisions on the implementation of the legislation and future reforms.

The DSA research network is a collaboration between the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI), the Digital Services Act (DSA) Observatory of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the Network of Centres (NoC).

Knowledge production

Research findings on the implementation of the DSA and future reforms, including risk-based governance approaches (DMA and AI Act). These take the approach of balancing potentially conflicting policy objectives, such as the effective protection of fundamental rights and facilitating the pursuit of innovative technologies.

Stable network building

Development of a co-operative network for knowledge exchange, workshops, seminars and joint research.

Support for young academics

Training young researchers in regulatory analysis, risk assessment, transdisciplinary collaboration and science communication.

Political impact

Supporting NGOs in the application of research results and assisting academics in the dissemination of new research findings to political actors.


Promoting the production and exchange of knowledge between academics, practitioners and policy makers

NGOs and think tanks

Collecting research-based findings for political work and networking with experts

Regulatory agency

Strengthening with insights from academia, civil society and other stakeholders to facilitate regulatory processes and ensure effective action in case of poor implementation

Civil society

Engagement for cross-sector collaboration for the benefit of society


Conference: DSA and platform regulation

This conference will discuss to what extent the Digital Service Act is able to open a meaningful new chapter in platform regulation. It provides a framework for researchers and key stakeholders to discuss the challenges on the way to its implementation.
15. – 16. February 2024 · Amsterdam
Institute for Information Law

Learning call: The basis of all good? New regulatory tools in DSA & Co.

In this learning call, researchers shed light on the core of the DSA, its systemic approach to platform regulation and highlight step-by-step regulatory structures.
27 February 2024 · online
Network of Centres

Digitaler Salon: Gekommen, um zu regeln

This DSA – and now? In the HIIG talk series, we discuss new rights & obligations for platforms and the balancing act between freedom & security.
28 February 2024 · Berlin
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Learning call: Focus topic Digital Services Act (DSA)

In this learning call, researchers will deal with practical application issues of the DSA and provide an outlook on possible reform ideas.
26 March 2024 · online
Network of Centres

Summer school: Platform regulation and democracies

A group of students from India, Brazil and Germany will take part in an intensive learning week. It offers participants the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts and learn about the challenges of regulatory action.
21. – 28. April 2024 · Delhi 
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society & Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow Institut

Learning call: Access all areas? Research data access under the DSA

In this learning call, scientists discuss the practical hurdles researchers face when applying for data access to platform activities.
23 April 2024 · online
Network of Centres

Academic round-table: Exploring freedom in communication online across transatlantic borders

In this academic workshop, US and European experts will examine the current state of freedom of expression on digital platforms in the context of the implementation of the DSA.
30 April 2024 · New York
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society & Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow Institut

Summer school: European platform regulation

Leading and international experts will provide an in-depth insight into the law and policy of the Digital Service Act. The week-long course will bring together participants from academia, regulators, industry and civil society.
July 2024 · Amsterdam
Institute for Information Law

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University of Amsterdam

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Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut

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University of Amsterdam

Funded by



Duration01. Januar 2024 bis 31. Dezember 2026
FundingStiftung Mercator



Matthias C. Kettemann, Prof. Dr. LL.M. (Harvard)

Head of Research Group and Associate Researcher: Global Constitutionalism and the Internet

part of the research group

globaler konstitutionalismus

Global Constitutionalism and the Internet

The Global Constitutionalism and the Internet research group focuses on new legal and institutional approaches to transnational and global governance.

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Research issues in focus

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