Created in 2000 by a geopolitics professor, recognized and supported by several universities and institutions, Diploweb is the first French-speaking website on geopolitics and international relations. Its research interests also cover the European integration process and EU enlargement, as well as Mediterranean migrations, politics and inter-state relations. Diploweb was launched as an online forum on these topics so that all material is provided in html and web standard formats. Its archive – since 2000 – contains papers, articles, essays, bibliographical references, full-text books and book reviews, maps, statistics, provided by academicians, diplomats, scholars and experts or collected from partner journals and reviews. Since 2008, a little audiovisual collection is also available. The website also gives direct access to other Diploweb sections (as its newly launched blog, its newsletter, its announcements) always fostering the user’s involvement and asking for support and membership. Access, search, browsing and material location for the general public is completely free. Many useful internal links are provided in the texts as well as to pertinent external resources for further research. The website is in French, but a smaller English version is also available. Search features are extremely simple and browsing may result the most effective way to retrieve material.
A French website on geopolitics
A forum on the impact of new technologies on democracy
The E-democracy center is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of e-democracy, focusing on how new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are interacting with democratic institutions of governance and on the outcomes that result from this interaction. With support of other research institutes, such as the European University Institute, the Oxford Internet Institute and the University of Geneva, the center provides a forum for developing new research tools and launching projects on new technologies. Its website provides info about the center’s activities and on upcoming events of interest to scholars devoted to e-democracy. In particular, the e-Democracy website provides full-text papers and research reports as well as working papers in pdf format. Digital books are offered only with descriptions and tables of contents. This website is built on a simple linking architecture and offers also external connections to pertinent web-resources. Despite the absence of any search engine, material location and retrieval is extremely easy and users can retrieve records by browsing efficient and clear directories. By offering a self-intuitive content organization and an immediate understandable structure, the e-democracy center’s website represents an useful tool for political scientists interested in internet studies.
EU E-Government Observatory
EU initiative to support interoperability services
The E-Government Observatory is a strategic initiative of the Interoperable Delivery of pan-European E-government services to Administrations, Businesses and Citizens program (IDABC) sponsored by the EU administration. It provides the community of e-government decision-makers and the professionals with relevant info to help them in the public and private sector in order to closely follow ongoing e-government developments. The website is rich in content and organized in five main sections: E-Government news, E-Government factsheets (presenting a synopsis of the e-government situation and progress in European countries), E-Government library, E-Government case studies, and a list of major updated e-government related events in Europe and beyond. Reports from conferences, national e-gov projects and papers are retrievable in a full range of format, from lists to full-text. A special inventory presents a catalogue of replicable free and open source software solutions for e-government. No payment or subscription is required to navigate the website.
A network of major European cities
Eurocities is the network of major European cities founded in 1986. It provides a platform for its member cities to share knowledge and ideas, to exchange experiences, to analyse common problems and develop innovative solutions, through a wide range of forums, working groups, projects, activities and events. Inclusion, accessibility and open data are some of the main focus of the working groups. Thematic forums and working groups – open only to Eurocities members – contribute to creating a network between local authorities and by offering an important aid to the development and implementation of European policies, legislation and programs. The website is supported by 140 local authorities across 30 European countries and some business partners. The website offers a large amount of basic information. Position papers and research reports - sometimes in French too – are available in full-text. Rich and updated information about Eurocities research projects and European cities -activities are provided. Working papers, speeches and proceedings are retrievable for free as well as annual benchmark surveys and publications. All the documents are freely accessible in full-text in their original format.
Network of European cultural journals and e-zine for transnational debate
Here is a unique and stimulating project linking up about 80 partner journals and just as many associated magazines and institutions from nearly all European countries. Supported by several cultural institutions and the EU’s Culture Programm, Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983 involving about 100 periodicals covering current themes and discussions in the socio-political landscape. Eurozine is also a netmagazine publishing selected articles from its partner journals, translated in various European languages. Among the variety of topics covered, a contested history of May ’68, the contemporary Austrian scene, multilingualism in Europe in terms of language policies, migration, translation. New articles appear quite often, even more than once a day, and are provided on-screen and also as a pdf file, along with detailed info for each journal, back issues, etc., while the Eurozine Review itself is published every two weeks. Rss-newsfeed and a monthly newsletter are available, with an archive including more than 2000 articles and searchable by author, date or over 30 languages. The website is simple but very effective and easy to navigate, including an internal, keyword-based search engine. Overall, Eurozine is an invaluable resource for both scholars and lay people to closely monitor (and participate in) today’s complex European scene.
Annual show-meeting on Public Administration in Italy
FORUM P.A. is a corporate initiative held in Rome under the sponsorship of the Italian government and other institutional and public partners. Its main goal is to activate an open communication channel among public administrations, companies and citizens on issues related to the quality and efficency of public services, in particular by organizing a regular annual meeting. The website of this inititative provides information about the annual meetings with material as speeches, ppt presentations, conference reports, etc., as well as about other, mainly institutional, initatives on PA and local and national administrations. All documentation is retrievable for free by all users in their full-text version in variuos formats (usually pdf or doc files). A proceedings archive contains the documents of the last four Forum PA meetings, as well as an observatory on PA best practices and projects. The main pages are now available in english while three thematic standalone channels (Altra Pa, Reset and Sanità elettronica) can be reached from the homepage giving more specialized information to the users.
A thematic website on globalization issues
Global Transformations is managed by a small number of scholars amongst the major experts on globalization issues and published online by the journal Polity. Partly an extensions to the Global Transformations books series, this website hosts information and annotated material on globalization and its impact on democracy, including research reports and papers, interviews, books descriptions, sample readings, entries, reviews, interviews and debates. Moreover, useful indicators about the several dimensions of global change are provided for students and scholars willing to conduct research on this topic. In addition users can find an executive summary of the key features of globalization and more information on some textbooks and other publications, mainly by the same scholars. Material is downloadable in various formats completely for free by all users. Linking features are very well developed, listing plenty of pertinent external web-resources. Users can only browse through categories and pages (no search option is provided), and updating rate is quite irregular. Beside its very basic design, a simple but information-rich website on a single, important issue.
Government Innovators Network
A portal project on government and its innovation
The Government Innovators Network (GIN) is an initiative supported by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. It is maintained by a team of partners from community-based enterprises to national and international organizations. The project wants to stimulate the discourse on the principles and practices of democracy by fostering government and governance innovation. In this respect the GIN portal is conceived as an instrument for policy makers, policy advisors, and practitioners looking for documents, articles, case studies and general information on government and its innovation. Specific areas such as governance and politics, public infrastructure, economic and community development, and technology are particularly rich in contents. This website is structured in topics and themes, each of them providing records and items organized in archives and retrievable in different formats, included multimedia versions. Access to all material and record retrieval are completely free of charge and downloading is possible in different formats. Some audio/video records are accessible only after a free online registration. Users can directly access an item by browsing or search by keywords. The website has a clear interface structure and this allows an easy navigation for all users.
News, discussion and other material about Jürgen Habermas
Managed by a group of professors and students involved in Political Science studies at various European Universities (mostly in Denmark), this amateur website is completely devoted to Jürgen Habermas. It provides biography, news, literature, reviews and papers, speech abstracts, online texts and a discussion forum on Habermas’s thinking and writings. Material content is always textually rich and equally presented in Danish and English; in some instances, such as Habermas’s public conferences or presentations, a video is also provided. Due to its mono-thematic focus, the Habermas Forum has an effective and simple design which makes the user able to download or retrieve the collected material easily and freely.
The International Conflict Research's website
Based at the Political Science Faculty of the University of Ulster, INCORE is a joint project with the UN University devoted to interdisciplinary research on conflict and peace issues. It mainly focuses on Ireland and on societies in transition with a comparative approach. It offers a rich variety of online services for free, by maintaining some comprehensive databases and resource guides to a broad range of interdisciplinary studies and themes about peace and conflict, as well as to a list of academic programmes, research opportunities, related institutes and organizations worldwide. Its pages also give access to INCORE full-text research papers and to reviews of the latest relevant literature on peace and conflict published in the collection “Ethnic Conflict Research Digest”. This website also provides lists of published work by the center’s associates, freely downloadable in their original format. For a large amount of records and related resources, classification and detailed annotation are provided, displayed in a portal-like format. Moreover, records can be retrieved by browsing through a complex system of categorization or by using the keyword search feature. All material (except for some e-books) is retrievable for free. A textual sitemap and a clear content organization help users in navigating this website.