Internet Governance: A Regulative Idea in Flux
Chapter in: Internet Governance: An Introduction, Ravi Kumar Jain Bandamutha (Ed.) , Icfai University Press, 2007, pp 74-108
21 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 2005
This paper portrays Internet Governance as an open ended collective process of searching that aims to fill the global regulatory void both conceptually and institutionally in a legitimate way. The ever distant – and perhaps unattainable – vanishing point of this search process is a stable regulatory arrangement accepted by all sides, which can adequately accommodate the changing set of challenges in transnational Internet politics as well as the desire of stakeholders to be involved. The prevailing responses to the question of suitable regulatory arrangements for the Internet have changed many times over since the 1980s.The paper distinguishes three stages in this process each characterized by specific types of activity, key actors, perceived problems and policy agendas: the technical regime, the institutionalization of self-governance and the birth of the multi-stakeholder process. It is argued that the ongoing transformation of Internet governance cannot be adequately understood as a mere reaction to existing regulatory problems. Rather, the perception and assessment of problems are themselves constitutive parts of each governance arrangement.
Keywords: Internet Governance, ICANN, IETF
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