Perspectives on Internet Governance: The Case for the Human Element

4 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2018

See all articles by David Morar

David Morar

Elliott School of International Affairs

Date Written: May 11, 2018


Multistakeholder Internet governance institutions are not being properly studied. Research focuses primarily on structure, which has its own set of concerns and limitations, but it overlooks the human element, which may play a vital role in shaping these institutions. The human element, which encompasses the human actors and their networks, is potentially important because of both the way the institutions themselves function internally to promote and highlight individuals, and the effect these institutions have on the participants. While this may sound interesting, a straightforward question emerges as to why this has not yet been studied. Two explanations of why this has not been the case so far cover both the substantive environment and its inherent complexities, and the theoretical biases inherent in the most prevalent lens used to study these institutions, borrowed from a related but entirely different area of research, democratic decision-making. Based on these points, before value is added to this role, it is paramount to try and uncover whether the human element has any substantial impact in the shaping and ongoing functioning of multistakeholder institutions on par with structure, and my upcoming dissertation tackles this issue.

Keywords: internet governance, multistakeholder governance, emerging technology, governance, multistakeholderism, hybrid governance

Suggested Citation

Morar, David, Perspectives on Internet Governance: The Case for the Human Element (May 11, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

David Morar (Contact Author)

Elliott School of International Affairs ( email )

2201 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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