The Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance, ICANN, and Business Stakeholders - Practices of Hegemonic Power
37 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 22, 2018
This research examines the relationship between the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and three groups of business stakeholders who participate in the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. The authors argue that ICANN’s use of ‘participatory evangelism’ serves as a device for the production of hegemonic power within the Internet governance model. By performing textual linguistic analysis on archival transcripts of triannual meetings from 2012 until 2016, the study operationalises hegemony as a dependent variable by linking stakeholder participation to the Internet governance policy-making agenda. By first identifying a ‘master variable’ that characterises the most general understanding of the data, statistical methods were used to construct a model with hegemony as a response variable. Furthermore, Analysis of Variance and Panel Data models were applied to measure variation in tone across the three groups of business stakeholders to understand how hegemony is produced. Our findings show that by using language that expresses hesitation and uncertainty, but at the same time is resolute with less complex discourses, the business sector stakeholders contribute to the production of hegemony that would theoretically benefit ICANN. This research underscores the importance of language and discourse as a driver of power within the Internet governance.
Keywords: hegemony, Gramsci, Internet governance, multistakeholderism, DICTION 7.0, and participatory evangelism, GigaNet
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