Power Plays in Global Internet Governance
18 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2015
The multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance has emerged as the dominant approach to navigating the complex set of interests, agendas and implications of our increasing dependence on this technology. Protecting this model of global governance in this context has been referred to by the US and EU as ‘essential’ to the future of the Internet. Bringing together actors from the private sector, the public sector and also civil society, multi-stakeholder Internet governance is not only regarded by many as the best way to organise around this particular issue, it is also held up as a potential template for the management of other ‘post-state’ issues. However, as a consequence of its normative aspirations to representation and power sharing, the multi-stakeholder approach to global Internet governance has received little critical attention. This paper examines the issues of legitimacy and accountability with regard to the ‘rule-makers’ and ‘rule-takers’ in this model and finds that it can also function as a mechanism for the reinforcement of existing power dynamics.
Keywords: Internet, global governance, cyber, Gramsci, GigaNet
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