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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 for a digital society. The group aims at translating widely accepted constitutional principles such as human dignity, fundamental rights and freedoms, democracy and participation, separation of powers and the rule of law into specific institutional arrangements that can claim legitimacy on different political levels.

In view of the increasing need for effective regulation of the internet as a global infrastructure for communication and control – i.e. for regulation beyond the state, not limited to but especially in the areas of the environment, security and trade – the group is seeking new approaches to the legal construction of processes and institutions in which human rights and democratic legitimation form the basis for a normative framework for the various forms of governance.

Global constitutionalism is to be understood as a normative theory that places the individual, not state structures, at its centre and sees generally accepted constitutional principles such as human dignity, freedom and equality rights, democracy and participation, the separation of powers and the rule of law as inviolable values in the increasingly dense world of politics. Relations between people at the global level and the legal framework will be explored. The aim is to “translate” these principles into democratic legitimised decision-making processes at the various political levels. The internet could play a significant role in this. This potential needs to be explored – but so do the risks associated with the use of information technologies – in order to understand the necessary normative consequences.

Global Constitutionalism and the Internet

In the Global Constitutionalism and the Internet research group, we investigate how technologies contribute to the formation of norms beyond the state and deal with the question of how these processes can be reconstructed from the perspective of constitutionalism theories. We address questions from the fields of data protection, cyber security and public administration that extend beyond their application cases from a both a transdisciplinary  and a legal point of view. We focus in particular on the following questions:


European Identity

The individual

Can we think of different orders from the individual? What shifts result if we focus on the individual in the governance of the Internet or the reform of administration?


Global negotiation process

How are the new global orders that will shape life in the world being negotiated? How does unity and diversity emerge in areas such as data protection or IT and cyber security?

Digital constitution

What does a constitution mean in a “digital constellation”? What are the principles behind digital technologies such as the Internet?

  • Politics and law · Society and culture


    The project explores the important, both mutually beneficial and conflict-prone relationship between cybersecurity and privacy. State-of-the-art cybersecurity protection often relies on the collection and...
  • Politics and law · Society and culture

    The Public International Law of the Internet

    The rapid development of the Internet and the increasing digitalisation of everyday life is raising new legal questions across the world: Which (state?) law...
  • Media and data · Politics and law

    Global Privacy Governance

    In the age of the Internet, in the wake of new challenges from increased network connection, new data generation and collection, new analytical techniques...

Completed research projects

  • Digital Citizenship

    DECiDe – Digital Identity, European Citizenship and the Future of Democracy

    We developed a prototype for e-voting and e-polling based upon digital identity and Random-Sample Voting. The project was one of the winning projects by...
  • Politics and law · Society and culture

    Digital Civil Disobedience

    The political phenomenon of civil disobedience has undergone a remarkable change in recent times, with the expression electronic civil disobedience coming into being in...
  • digitale öffentliche verwaltung
    Politics and law · Society and culture

    The Digital Administrative State

    Current discussions on the Internet's impact on public administration and on public institutions in general have centred around the notion of e-government. Our research...
  • Politics and law · Society and culture

    KORSE @ HIIG – the Internet and civil security in Europe

    The emergence of cyberspace has challenged the law of civil security in Europe. Today, nearly all aspects of life have a digital dimension and...


Former employees


Pohle, J. (2018). Datenschutz und Technikgestaltung: Geschichte und Theorie des Datenschutzes aus informatischer Sicht und Folgerungen für die Technikgestaltung. Berlin, Germany: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. DOI: 10.18452/19136 Publication details

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Henningsen, S., Florian, M., Rust, S. & Scheuermann, B. (2020). Mapping the Interplanetary Filesystem. IFIP Networking 2020. Publication details

Pernice, I. (2018). Risk Management in the Digital Constellation – A Constitutional Perspective (part II). Revista de Internet, Derecho y Política (IDP)(27), 79-95. Publication details

Djeffal, C. (2018). Künstliche Intelligenz in der Öffentlichen Verwaltung. Berichte des Nationalen E-Government Kompetenzzentrums, 3. Publication details

Edited works

Pernice, I., & Pohle, J. (2018). Privacy and Cyber Security on the Books and on the Ground. Berlin, Germany: Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Publication details

Papadopoulou, L., Pernice, I., & Weiler, J. H. H. (Eds.) (2018). Legitimacy Issues of the European Union in the Face of Crisis: Dimitris Tsatsos in memoriam, 2. edition., 2. unedited Baden-Baden: Nomos. Publication details

Papadopoulou, L., Pernice, I., & Weiler, J. H. H. (Eds.) (2017). Legitimacy Issues of the European Union in the Face of Crisis: Dimitris Tsatsos in memoriam. Baden-Baden: Nomos. Publication details

Book contributions and chapters

Pohle, J. (2016). Die kategoriale Trennung zwischen ‘öffentlich’ und ‘privat’ ist durch die Digitalisierung aller Lebensbereiche überholt: Über einen bislang ignorierten Paradigmenwechsel in der Datenschutzdebatte. In Plöse, M., Fritsche, T., Kuhn, M., & Lüders, S. (Eds.), Worüber reden wir eigentlich? – Festgabe für Rosemarie Will (pp. 612-625). Berlin: Humanistische Union. Publication details

Pernice, I. (2015). Das Völkerrecht des Netzes. Konstitutionelle Elemente eines globalen Rechtsrahmens für das Internet. In Biaggini, G., Diggelmann, O., & Kaufmann, C. (Ed), Polis und Kosmopolis: Festschrift für Daniel Thürer. Zürich/St. Gallen, Switzerland: DIKE/ Nomos. Publication details

Pernice, I. (2014). Die Verfassung der Internetgesellschaft. In A. Blankenagel, Den Verfassungsstaat nachdenken (pp. 171-208). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. Publication details

Pernice, I. (2013). Die Politik und die Internet-Gesellschaft. In Franzius, C. et al (Eds.), Beharren. Bewegen. Festschrift für Michael Kloepfer zum 70. Geburtstag (pp. 102-118). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. Publication details


Lectures and presentations

Strategien globaler Cyber(sicherheits-)Politik – ein transatlantischer Vergleich
Recht und Sicherheit im digitalen Raum – wer macht was im föderalen System? (Session: Außenperspektiven). Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Villa la Collina, Griante, Italy: 22.08.2019

Ingolf Pernice

Strategien globaler Cyber(sicherheits-)Politik – ein transatlantischer Vergleich
Recht und Sicherheit im digitalen Raum – wer macht was im föderalen System?. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Villa la Collina, Cadenabbia, Italy: 21.08.2019

Ingolf Pernice

Future of Law and Government
Future of Law (Session: Sustainable AI Development). Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany: 29.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Künstliche Intelligenz und Automatisierung in der Sozialverwaltung – Chance oder Risiko?
Tag der kommunalen Jobcenter 2018 (Session: Herausforderungen meistern – Digitalisierung voranbringen). Benchlearning der Optionskommunen. Ellington Hotel, Berlin, Germany: 26.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Überholt die Technik das Recht oder lässt sich die Digitalisierung der Verwaltung rechtlich einhegen?
Jahrestagung 2018 der Deutschen Sektion des Internationalen Instituts für Verwaltungswissenschaften (Session: Die Verwaltung und ihr Recht). Deutsche Sektion des Internationalen Instituts für Verwaltungswissenschaften. Bundesverwaltungsgericht, Leipzig, Germany: 23.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Gute künstliche Intelligenz gestalten
Citrix Technology Exchange (Session: Vision Track). Citrix. World Conference Center, Bonn, Germany: 19.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Technik in Grenzen? Welche Rahmenbedingungen müssten wir setzen, damit aus KI „gute“ KI wird?
Herbsttagung (Session: Künstliche Intelligenz). Think Tank 30 Deutschland. Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany: 17.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Mehr Menschlichkeit durch künstliche Intelligenz?
E-Government Summit. Vogel-IT. Wartburg, Eisenach, Deutschland: 15.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Risk Management in the Digital Society - A Constitutional Perspective
Managing risk in the digital society: Internet, Law & Politics (Session: Panel on Privacy & Data Protection). Law and Political Science Studies - Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Cosmocaixa, Barcelona, Spain: 30.06.2017

Ingolf Pernice


5G, IoT and AI - Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility
Internet Governance Forum 2018. Internet Governance Forum of the United Nations. UNESCO Headquaters, Paris, Frankreich: 14.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Streitgespräch zum Für und Wider von Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) und ihrem Einsatz in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Digital Kontrovers. Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Repräsentanz der GIZ, Berlin, Germany: 12.11.2018 Further information

Christian Djeffal

Organisation of events

Fake News, Online disinformation and democratic processes in Europe
11.01.2019. Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) (International) Further information

Jacek Wiland, Konstantinos Tsakiliotis, Kai Gärtner, Ingolf Pernice

Völkerrecht des Netzes
08.09.2014. Walter-Hallstein Institut, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Office of Foreign Affairs (National)

Emma Peters, Adrian Haase, Osvaldo Saldías, Ingolf Pernice