Options for and Effectiveness of Internet Self- and Co-Regulation Phase 3 (Final) Report

Report for European Commission

Posted: 21 Dec 2008 Last revised: 23 Dec 2013

See all articles by Jonathan Cave

Jonathan Cave

University of Warwick

Steve Simmons

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christopher Marsden

University of Sussex Law School

Date Written: February 29, 2008


This is the final report of a study undertaken during 2007 into the 'Options for, and effectiveness of, Internet Self- and Co-Regulation'. The study was undertaken at the request of DG Information Society and Media as a contribution to improving the knowledge base for the Impact Assessment (IA) of any future proposed EC interventions (or considered non-interventions) in Self- and Co-Regulation, particularly in Internet-related areas.

The study is based on the analysis of three types of evidence: case study evidence; theoretical and analytical evidence; and the evidence provided by public policy agendas. 21 detailed case studies of Internet self- and co-regulatory organisations (XROs) were undertaken during June-September 2007 using a common methodology broadly compatible with EC Guidelines for Evaluation. The case studies provided: descriptions and analysis of the varieties of XROs in terms of key characteristics; a description of their central processes (formation, membership, rule-making, monitoring, enforcement, sanction and self-evaluation); and correlation of these characteristics with policy areas, industry characteristics, geographic scope and extent, etc. The study also surveyed peer-reviewed literature within the Internet domain and beyond and strategy and implementation documents from a range of public-sector organisations, non-Internet XROs and stakeholder (industry and civil society) groups, as well as policy analytic papers.

The case studies summarised in this report (Chapter 3) are documented in the Phase 2 report. Given their number and variety and the goal of informing future IA, the report does not aim at complete evaluation of Internet XROs per se or final judgments on their relative performance. Rather, the case studies complement the theoretical models and policy evidence to provide a fuller picture than previously existed of Internet self- and co-regulation within the context of public policy in order to address the complexity and dynamism of this extremely diverse topic.

Keywords: Internet, self-regulation, co-regulation, impact assessment, regulation

Suggested Citation

Cave, Jonathan and Simmons, Steve and Marsden, Christopher T., Options for and Effectiveness of Internet Self- and Co-Regulation Phase 3 (Final) Report (February 29, 2008). Report for European Commission, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1274571

Jonathan Cave

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Steve Simmons

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Christopher T. Marsden (Contact Author)

University of Sussex Law School ( email )

Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

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