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Closing the Gap 2023 | Emerging and Disruptive Digital Technologies: Regional Perspectives

Wednesday 6 December 2023 - Thursday 7 December 2023
Glazen Zaal (Prinsessegracht 26), The Hague


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The EU Cyber Diplomacy Initiative – EU Cyber Direct – is partnering with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joining forces with research institutions and civil society organisations around the world to organize the third edition of the Closing the Gap Conference. This two-day, in person, conference aims to explore regional perspectives on emerging and disruptive digital technologies.


Day 1 (Wednesday 6 December 2023)

08:30-09:00 Welcome and Registration
09:00-09:10 Conference Opening by Dennis Broeders (Full Professor of Global Security and Technology, Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, the Netherlands)
09:10-09:30 Welcoming and Opening Remarks by Ernst Noorman (Ambassador at Large for Cyber Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Roundtable - The international techno-politics of AI: Balancing the narratives of existential threat, trustworthiness, risk management, to meaningful human control


Chair: Raluca Csernatoni (Fellow, Carnegie Europe, Belgium)



  • J.P. Singh (George Mason University, USA)
  • Marijn Hoijtink (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Jessica Dorsey (Utrecht University, the Netherlands)
  • Mariarosaria Taddeo (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Elke Schwarz (Queen Mary University London, UK)
10:30-11:00 Coffee break

Panel 1 - Regulating new and emerging technologies


Chair: Tal Mimran (Adjunct Lecturer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)


  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection within Malaysia Smart Cities FrameworkHesam Nourooz Pour (University of Malaya, Malaysia)
  • The Politics of Uber: Examining the Rise of New Interest Groups and Their Impacts on Regulatory Process in Global CitiesChee Hae Chung (Seoul National University, South Korea)
  • Facial Recognition at Crossroads: Policy Perspectives on Disruption and InnovationKosha Doshi and Bandana Saikia (Pune, India)
  • The Politics of Digital CurrencyVagisha Srivastava (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
13:00-14:00 Lunch

Panel 2 - The impact of artificial intelligence


Chair: Raluca Csernatoni (Fellow, Carnegie Europe, Belgium)


  • Gender Mainstreaming in African Artificial Intelligence Policies: Egypt, Rwanda, and Mauritius Case StudiesIfeoma E. Nwafor (IEN Legal Associates/Godfrey Okoye University, Nigeria)
  • Regionalizing the Governance of Artificial Intelligence in Africa: An Assessment of Developments within the AU FrameworkUchenna Jerome Orji (American University of Nigeria, Nigeria)
  • Path for China-US Global Security Governance Cooperation on AI MilitarizationChenghao Sun and Yuqi Zhao (Tsinghua University, China)
15:30-16:00 Coffee break

Panel 3 - Policy meets technology: national perspectives


Chair: Dennis Broeders (Full Professor of Global Security and Technology, Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, the Netherlands)


  • India's Tryst with Cyber Security: Analysing India's Cyber Diplomacy, the 2023 National Cybersecurity Policy and PracticeEsha Banerji (East Asia Centre MP-IDSA, India)
  • Commanding the Dataspace in China: Governments’ Ambition, Market Resistance, and its Strategic ImplicationsDuan Xiaolin (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
  • Sovereignty Narratives and Power Struggles in Digital Technology Governance: A Comparative Analysis of the EU and ChinaGong Yunmu and Shen Yi (Fudan University, China)
  • Emerging Technologies and Disruptive PoliciesJakob Bund (European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative, Germany)
18:00 End of Day 1



Day 2 (Thursday 7 December 2023)

08:30-09:00 Welcome and Registration

Panel 4 - The impact of quantum technology


Chair: Chantal Lavallee (Royal Military College of Saint-Jean, Canada)


  • Analysis of Quantum Technologies in Light of Systems of Innovation and Development: Insights for BrazilWalter Britto Gaspar (FGV Law School, Brazil)
  • Quantum Technologies and Large Satellite Constellations in Outer Space: Securing Communications in EuropeGiovanni Tricco (University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Role of Epistemic Communities in Standardization of Quantum TechnologiesYug Desai (South Asian University, India)
10:30-11:00 Coffee break

Panel 5 - Governing lethal autonomous weapon systems


Chair: Margaret E. Kosal (Associate Professor, Georgia Tech, USA)


  • The Global Governance of Autonomous Weapon Systems: An Israeli Case Study, Mayuri Mukherjee (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Autonomous Weapon Systems and Middle Power Status Identity: Netherlands' AI diplomacy and Cooperation with South Korea, Hyunsu Kim (Seoul National University, South Korea)

Roundtable - Bridging the gap between technology and policy: the value and skills of the knowledge translator


Chair: Patryk Pawlak (Visiting Fellow, European University Institute, Italy)



  • Paul Timmers (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Olaf Kolkman (Internet Society, the Netherlands)
  • Lu Chuanying (Shanghai Institute for International Studies, China)
  • Moliehi Makumane (UNIDIR, South Africa)
13:00-13:10 Closing Remarks by Dennis Broeders (Full Professor of Global Security and Technology, Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, the Netherlands)
13:10-14:00 Lunch
14:00 End of Day 2




The motivation for this thematic focus is threefold:

  1. To de-center approaches to emerging and disruptive digital technologies that have largely been Western/European centric
  2. To explore the diversity of interpretations regarding associated challenges and opportunities
  3. To enrich the state of the art with novel research ideas, theoretical insights, and empirical case studies

In 2021, the sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts focusing on ICTs in international security explicitly mentioned emerging technologies in its consensus report for the first time. In doing so, the report stated that “new and emerging technologies are expanding development opportunities,” whilst noting that they “may also have important human rights and ICT security implications.” Taking this acknowledgement as its point of departure, and recognizing that these technologies and their associated risks, opportunities, controversies and threats may differ across geographies, the 2023 Closing the Gap Conference will explore regional interpretations of what is and can be considered emergent and disruptive digital technologies. Contributors are invited to consider a broad range of digital technologies such as (but not limited to) mobile, fintech, AI, quantum computing, 5G, IoT, biometrics, and blockchain, in both the military and civil spheres.

In keeping the thematic focus broad, the conference aims to bring to the fore a variety of perspectives, ideas, and mechanisms from different disciplines to inform policymakers, cyber diplomats and academics, as well as contribute to evidence-based policymaking. Scholars are welcomed from fields as diverse as international relations, security studies, political science, law, behavioural science, computer science, science and technology studies, sociology, and communication studies. The conference is aimed at both emerging and established academics, think tankers and researchers, and early career researchers are highly encouraged to apply.


The conference has three primary objectives:

  1. Forging collaboration between scholars and practitioners to produce evidence-based policymaking and policy-relevant research;
  2. Encouraging productive exchanges between different generations of scholars (emerging and established researchers), sectors (government, private sector, academia, NGOs) and regions (Global South-North);
  3. Fostering interdisciplinary approaches and encouraging discussions between disciplines

Selection Committee

  • Luca Belli, Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School / CyberBRICS
  • Dennis Broeders, The Hague Program on International Cyber Security / Leiden University
  • Fréderick Douzet, University of Paris 8 / GÉODE
  • Maria Lorena Florez Rojas, University of Groningen
  • Caitríona Heinl, University College Dublin
  • Margaret E. Kosal, Georgia Tech
  • Chantal Lavallee, Royal Military College of St-Jean
  • Lu Chuanying, Shanghai Institute for International Studies
  • Bruno Oliveira Martins, PRIO
  • Tal Mimran, Hebrew University of Jersusalem
  • Patryk Pawlak
  • Nanjira Sambuli, Carnegie
  • Elke Schwarz, Queen Mary University of London 

Tentative Timeline

6 April 2023:

Publication of call for abstracts

1 June 2023:

Deadline for submission of abstracts

15 June 2023:

Information to selected authors

15 October 2023:

Deadline for submission of draft papers

20 November 2023:

Feedback from review committee of papers

6-7 December 2023:

Closing the Gap 2023 conference

29 February 2024:

Deadline for revised/final papers

Summer 2024:

Publication of the edited volume

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