Legitimacy and Expertise in Global Internet Governance
14 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2014 Last revised: 18 Feb 2015
Date Written: August 5, 2014
Over the course of the past decade or so, attention among Internet policymakers and scholars has shifted gradually from substantive design principles to the structure of Internet governance. The Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers in particular now faces a new skepticism about its legitimacy to administer the essential Internet Assigned Numbers Authority function. ICANN has responded to these doubts by proposing a series of major governance reforms that would bring nation-states more into the organization's decisionmaking. After all, transnational governance institutions in other substantive areas privilege nation-states as a matter of course. This Symposium Essay shows that these changes reflect a new era in which ICANN and other Internet policymakers no longer view the Internet as uniquely immune from the geopolitics of the physical world.
Keywords: Internet governance, Internet, ICANN, IANA function, NETmundial, multistakeholder governance
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