Christian Sandvig (BA summa cum laude, University of California, Davis; MA, PhD, Stanford University) is an Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received the PhD in communication in 2002 and subsequently served as a Markle Foundation Information Policy Fellow at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, Oxford University.

Sandvig is a former computer programmer and his current research investigates the tensions between social, technical, and legal mechanisms of control in the development of communication technologies such as the Internet. For example, his dissertation considered ideas about utility in the development of computer networking technology at four empirical sites, including a computer center for young children in the inner-city of San Francisco. He was recently named a ‘next-generation leader in science and technology policy’ in a competition among junior faculty funded by the US National Science Foundation. For this competition he proposed a reconsideration of the applicability of end-to-end arguments from computer science to Internet regulation and public policymaking. His current research has appeared in The Information Society, Political Communication, Community Practice in the Network Society, and Communications Policy in Transition.

At the OII Christian studied the use of ad hoc 802.11 (Wi-Fi) networks to deliver Internet service. He was also convenor of a research seminar group of the Economic and Social Research Council on integrating academic research and public policymaking about the Internet. This was based at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, where he is a Research Associate.

Positions held at the OII

  • Visiting Fellow, May – July 2003
  • Visiting Fellow, June – July 2002


Past projects

  • Wireless technology for broadband Internet

    Participants: Dr Christian Sandvig

    A 2004 pilot study mapping the use of Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) for broadband Internet access in Oxfordshire, later contributing to a cross-national study of the evolution of wireless networks undertaken by the OII and the University of Illinois.


  • Social Networks and Internet Connectivity Effects

    Recorded: 20 June 2005

    Duration: 00:43:09

    Caroline Haythornthwaite summarizes and discusses her article: 'Social Networks and Internet connectivity Effects' published in the journal 'Information Communication and Society'