Global Constitutionalism and the Internet. Taking People Seriously

51 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2015 Last revised: 18 Mar 2015

Date Written: March 10, 2015


States and societies are globally interconnected and interdependent. External effects of national policies challenge democratic self-determination in other states. An increasing density of relations among people worldwide through communication, migration, traveling as well as through global challenges like climate change, deregulated financial markets, terrorism and organized crime require common rules. Existing models and practices of governance beyond the state do not seem to present solutions that are both efficient and legitimate. They show, nevertheless, elements that, if combined, could be a basis for a new method for developing legitimate global rules. In addition, diverse concepts of global constitutionalism can provide conceptual tools necessary for constructing a constitutional frame of governance at the global level including emerging legally binding rules. It is the Internet that seems to allow the information and transparency, communication and discourse, participation of and control by (global) citizens necessary for organizing legitimacy. On that basis the present contribution takes experiences from the diverse arenas of governance producing principles, standards and rules, and uses theoretical approaches of global constitutionalism for depicting seven elements or stages of a norm-setting process through which globally binding rules emerge, are validated and revisited in a manner to giving people a voice and so taking people seriously.

Keywords: Global Constitutionalism, Internet, Internet Governance, multistakeholderism, legitimacy, rule-making, participation

Suggested Citation

Pernice, Ingolf, Global Constitutionalism and the Internet. Taking People Seriously (March 10, 2015). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 2015-01, Available at SSRN: or

Ingolf Pernice (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, AK Berlin 10099

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