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Internet Governance

Milton Mueller

Subject International Studies » International Communication

Key-Topics communication, governance, Internet, networks, technology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444336597.2010.x


Comment on this article   Nothing brings together studies of international relations and communication more completely than the internet and the problem of its global governance. The world's convergence on the internet protocols for computer communications, coupled with the proliferation of a variety of increasingly inexpensive digital devices that can be networked, has created a new set of geopolitical issues around information and communication. These problems are not just related to the management and control of the internet itself, but also to a broader set of public policy issues, such as freedom of expression, privacy, transnational crime, the security of states and critical infrastructure, intellectual property, trade, and economic regulation. Political scientists and IR scholars have been slow to attack these problems. This is partly due to the difficulty of recognizing governance issues when they are embedded in a highly technological context. One cannot assess, for example, the real meaning of the ongoing debate over political oversight of the root of the domain name system unless one understands something about the architecture and technical function of domain names. Another barrier to understanding is that the institutions and processes surrounding the internet are not the established intergovernmental venues IR scholars learned about in school. They are new ones that ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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