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Geopolitics of technology and digitalisation


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Technology and digitalisation have become new power factors on the world stage

The battle for the semiconductors that are needed for our phones, cars and domestic appliances, the growing number of cyber and ransomware attacks on governmental organisations and companies, and governments that use the internet and other digital tools for mass surveillance: technology and digitalisation have become new power factors on the world stage.

The geopolitics of technology and digitalisation is of growing importance to our societies, economies and everyday lives. Economic security, smart industrial policy and digital sovereignty have rapidly become the new policy benchmarks.

This research and project programme aims to contribute to agenda-setting and improved policymaking through leading analyses and by shaping the public debate.

We will focus on questions like: how do we ensure that corporate and state interests will not overrule our individual freedoms and digital rights? How can we strengthen Europe’s tech and digital sectors next to American and Chinese giants? How do we prevent growing inequalities due to growing ‘digital divides’ between people who can and cannot access and operate the internet? And how can digital technologies contribute to achieving our climate goals in Europe and beyond?

What will we work on?

Efforts to protect the Dutch and European societies and economies from undesirable foreign influence, securing a safe and trusted digital environment at home: cyber security and resilience, trusted supply chains, critical technologies and materials, and smart industrial policy.

Efforts to promote European principles and economic competitiveness in the field of technology and digitalisation abroad: digital for development, Global Gateway and digital connectivity, standardisation and the valorisation of innovation.

Efforts to shape governance and regulation of the digital domain with a human-centred approach: data governance, digital trade and e-commerce frameworks, e-government and digital identity.

A cross-programme effort

As a cross-programme effort, the Geopolitics of Tech & Digitalisation programme includes the EU & Global Affairs unit and the Security Unit of Clingendael Research, as well as the Clingendael Academy. Clingendael experts and trainers will share their findings in public reports and policy briefs with recommendations for policymakers, and in trainings for participants from the public and private sectors. In doing so, they will always seek to work with trusted partners in the Netherlands, the EU and beyond.

Stay updated

Find our experts, latest reports, policy briefs, events, training programmes and publications on the geopolitics of technology and digitalisation below. Feel free to reach out to the team lead of this programme, Maaike Okano-Heijmans.

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