Where ICTs offer significant opportunities for restructuring practices and institutions in the management and delivery of government services and the functioning of governance and democratic processes, such as the rise of a 5th Estate.

Current projects

  • Computational Propaganda

    Participants: Professor Philip Howard

    This project will focus on how bots, algorithms and other forms of automation are used by political actors in countries around the world.

  • Elections and the Internet

    Participants: Dr Jonathan Bright, Dr Scott A. Hale, Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Taha Yasseri

    This site collects elections research at the OII. We are interested in exploring the extent to which data from the social web can be used to predict interesting social and political phenomena, especially elections.

  • Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity-Building

    Participants: Gillian Bolsover, Professor Ian Brown, Professor William H. Dutton

    This Oxford-based Centre aims become a leading global resource for understanding how to deliver effective cyber security; OII Fellows Bill Dutton and Ian Brown lead its work on security cultures and regulation.

  • Government on the Web

    Participants: Simon Bastow, Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Dr Tobias Escher, Dr Scott A. Hale, Professor Helen Margetts, Oliver Pearce, Jane Tinkler

    Research dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of e-government and the impact of web-based technologies on government.

  • OxIS: Oxford Internet Surveys

    Participants: Dr Grant Blank, Ulrike Deetjen, Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Bianca Reisdorf

    Research on access, use and attitudes to the Internet in Britain based on biennial surveys covering (for example) digital and social inclusion and exclusion, social networking, safety and privacy concerns, Internet regulation, and behaviour.

  • OXLab: Oxford eXperimental Laboratory

    Participants: Professor Peter John, Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Nir Vulkan, Lucy Bartlett, Ingrid Boxall, Dr Tobias Escher, Dr Scott A. Hale

    Oxford eXperimental Laboratory is undertaking laboratory-based experiments (eg information-seeking tasks) on networked computers in two disciplines: Economics (interactive decision making) and Political Science (evaluating government information online).

  • WIP: World Internet Project

    Participants: Dr Grant Blank, Professor William H. Dutton

    The World Internet Project (WIP) carries out panel surveys in over twenty countries to help understand how individuals adopt and use the Internet and other technologies, as well as the resulting social, economic, political and everyday-life implications.

Past projects

  • Big Data: Demonstrating the Value of the UK Web Domain Dataset for Social Science Research

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Jonathan Bright, Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Dr Scott A. Hale, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Tom Nicholls, Dr Taha Yasseri

    This project aims to enhance JISC's UK Web Domain archive, a 30 TB archive of the .uk country-code top level domain collected from 1996 to 2010. It will extract link graphs from the data and disseminate social science research using the collection.

  • Breaking Barriers to e-Government

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Rebecca Eynon, Professor Helen Margetts

    Investigating the legal, organisational, technological and other barriers to expanding effective eGovernment services using the Internet and to define possible solutions at a European level to overcome such obstacles.

  • Campaigning in cyberspace: 2005 general election online

    Participants: Dr Steve Ward

    Research on the role and use of new ICTs in the 2005 UK election campaign, drawing on data from both a top-down party perspective and bottom-up voter perspective using qualitative and quantitative methods.

  • Civil society participation in the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS)

    Participants: Professor Stephen Coleman, Professor William H. Dutton, Dr Sonia Liff, Dr Victoria Nash

    Achieving a deeper understanding of the nature, extent and potential of civil society groups' participation in the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and ICT policy making by establishing a cross-sector academic / practitioner dialogue.

  • Ethical Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Connectivity Measurements

    Participants: Professor Ian Brown, Dr David Erdos, Dr Joss Wright, Ben Zevenbergen

    This project is developing concrete guidance with regards to privacy and data protection for researchers using Internet measurement tools for mobile phones in a usable and understandable format.

  • eTRUST: e-democracy technologies and the problem of public trust

    Participants: Dr Anne-Marie Oostveen

    Does e-democracy increase trust in government, and, if so, under what conditions? This work is based on case studies (involving observation / interviewing) of local and national e-democracy initiatives selected from England and the Netherlands.

  • From the ground up

    Participants: Professor Stephen Coleman

    Evaluating the successes and failures of local authorities in facilitating ground-up, citizen-led approaches to e-democracy, and considering how authorities have tried to harness the power of ICTs to create and stimulate new forms of 'civic space'.

  • Information Exchange between Citizens and the Department of Work and Pensions

    Participants: Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Dr Tobias Escher, Professor Helen Margetts, Jane Tinkler

    A value for money study for the National Audit Office (NAO) looking at information exchange between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its benefit customers.

  • Internet and productivity in public services: innovative pathways for e-government

    Participants: Professor Alexandre Caldas, Professor Paul Allan David, Professor William H. Dutton, Orges Ormanidhi

    Investigating indicators of productivity growth in public sector institutions across eight EU countries, including patterns and impacts of ICT use, organisational perspectives, and implications of the interaction of ICT usage and organisational processes.

  • Internet Governance

    Participants: Professor Ian Brown, Professor William H. Dutton, Desiree Miloshevic, Professor Jonathan Zittrain

    A programme of seminars, forums and conferences informing our research on Internet governance.

  • KNETWORKS: Dissemination and Networks of Knowledge in the Atlantic Area

    Participants: Dr Cristobal Cobo, Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Eric T. Meyer

    KNETWORKS aims to create a strong knowledge sharing and dissemination network in the Atlantic area to promote the exchange of good practices and implementation strategies for building and exploiting a 21st century knowledge and information society.

  • Language, power and Internet communication

    Participants: Professor Richard Rose

    A study on transnational Internet communication in which one party has a bi-cultural understanding and uses English as a foreign language while the other (native English) party assumes (not entirely correctly) that there is a shared understanding.

  • Leaders and Followers in Online Activism

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Dr Ning Wang

    Where do political and policy-oriented mobilizations (such as e-petitions or organized protests) start and how are they sustained? What affects the propensity of people to join a mobilization, and hence, the mobilization's success?

  • OpenNet Initiative: state-sponsored filtering of the Internet

    Participants: Professor Jonathan Zittrain

    The Open Net Initiative aims to investigate, expose and analyze Internet filtering and surveillance practices, uncovering the potential pitfalls and unintended consequences of these practices, and helping to inform better public policy and advocacy work.

  • Parliamentary representation in the age of the Internet: an Anglo-Australian comparison

    Participants: Dr Steve Ward

    Evaluating the use of the Internet by parliaments and representatives in the UK and Australia, contributing to current debates about the health of representative parliamentary democracy and the role of political representatives in the 21st century.

  • Participation in Internet-mediated interactions

    Participants: Ingemar Cox, Steffen Huck, Professor Helen Margetts

    This research applied a multidisciplinary approach to developing a methodology for evaluating the web structure and 'health' of e-government, and investigating design mechanisms for fundraising on the Internet (including determinants of giving behaviour).

  • Personal identification and identity management in new modes of e-government

    Participants: Professor Miriam Lips, Dr Joe Organ, Professor John Taylor

    Gathering empirical data on a variety of digital means for constructing and managing the citizen's identity in e-Government service relationships, and exploring varying relationships between the citizen and government in different policy fields.

  • Public Opinion Indicators in Online Communication

    Participants: Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon

    This project examines the research potential of online communication to gauge public opinion by reviewing different methods to draw public opinion indicators from online communication, focusing on what the public thinks and how they think about it.

  • Remixing citizenship

    Participants: Professor Stephen Coleman

    Investigated how young people gather and communicate civic information online, and setting a new agenda for debating the relationship between young people, the Internet and democracy, arguing they are moving to newer forms of participation.

  • Student Protests and Digital Media: The Campaign Against Tuition Fees

    Participants: Dr Michael Biggs, Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon

    How are digital media changing the way in which people mobilize for a collective cause? Why do some individuals take part in protest, and others not? These issues are investigated through the UK student campaign against raised tuition fees.

  • The Fifth Estate

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Dr Elizabeth Dubois

    The Fifth Estate is a research project designed to examine critically the Internet's role in enabling new forms of democratic accountability and voice, comparable to the press of an earlier era.

  • The Internet, Political Science and Public Policy: Re-examining Collective Action, Governance and Citizen-Government Interactions in the Digital Era

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Scott A. Hale, Tom Nicholls, Dr Taha Yasseri

    This research programme aims to assess where political science understanding, knowledge and theory should be re-examined and developed in light of widespread use of the Internet, and to develop methodologies to study online behaviour.

  • VOSON: Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks

    Participants: Dr Robert Ackland, Professor Bruce Bimber, Markus Buchhorn, Dr Rachel Gibson, Dr Mathieu O'Neil, Dr Steve Ward

    The first stage in the establishment of a 'Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks': a Grid-enabled research environment facilitating cutting-edge collaborative research into the existence and impact of online social and political networks.