Network Society as a Paradigm for Legal and Societal Thinking (NETSO)


The project aims to generate basic knowledge of the theoretical foundations and context of the network society development and to discover the subsequent changes in the legal, communicational and societal aspects of the process. The project deals especially with the foundational thinking behind the fashionable talk about ubiquitous information society. This will be linked to the modern constitutional rights. NETSO aims at discovering the changes in the network society, particularly in light of legal and sociological research, with several thematic foci. The research questions depicting the main themes can be listed as a number of How’s:

1. How has information society as a concept evolved internationally and in Finland, both in scientific thinking and political discourses?

2. How is the nature of legal regulation changing in the network society, while strengthening the role of constitutional rights and the rule of law state? What is the role of watchdog organizations in this development?

3. How is individual privacy protected in the network society and in the information administration?

4. How is the role of a consumer changing in the network society?

5. How is e-governance changing everyday life and citizenship? Which are the new risks?

6. How is the nature of IT business changing in the network society?

7. How does the paradigm of network society challenge the conventional disciplines of law, sociology, media, art, computer and information systems, with new interdisciplinary approaches?

The research team is composed of scholars in four Finnish university towns and abroad in six countries. The responsible leader of the project is professor of Private Law Ahti Saarenpää, University of Lapland, Institute for Law and Informatics.

Effective start/end date01/07/201231/12/2012


  • 518 Media and communications
  • Information society
  • network society
  • media studies