What Does the Concept of 'Sovereignty' Mean in Digital, Network and Technological Sovereignty?

18 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2018 Last revised: 15 Jul 2020

See all articles by Stéphane Couture

Stéphane Couture

York University - Glendon College

Sophie Toupin

McGill University

Date Written: January 22, 2018


In this paper, we are interested in the notion of sovereignty as it is applied to “the digital.” Indeed, the notion of “sovereignty” has increasingly been used in recent years to describe various forms of independence, control and autonomy over digital infrastructures, technologies and contents. Although the notion of “sovereignty” seems to gain significance in digital discourses and associated scholarly literature, our preliminary analysis shows that while this notion is generally used to assert some form of collective control of digital content and/or infrastructures, the interpretation, subject, means and definition of sovereignty can significantly differ.

See here for the published version:
Couture, S., & Toupin, S. (2019). What does the notion of “sovereignty” mean when referring to the digital? New Media & Society, 21(10), 2305‑2322. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444819865984

Keywords: GigaNet

Suggested Citation

Couture, Stéphane and Toupin, Sophie, What Does the Concept of 'Sovereignty' Mean in Digital, Network and Technological Sovereignty? (January 22, 2018). GigaNet: Global Internet Governance Academic Network, Annual Symposium 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3107272 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3107272

Stéphane Couture (Contact Author)

York University - Glendon College ( email )

2275, avenue Bayview
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M6

Sophie Toupin

McGill University

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5

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