Article thumbnail

Towards a Humanistic Conception of Cyberspace. A Twofold Challenge for Netizens Mobilizing for a Democratic Internet Governance

By Elena PAVAN, Max SENGES and Konstantinos KOMAITIS

Abstract

Our paper critically addresses the involvement and the role of civil society entities in new participatory forms of governance, using the Internet governance (IG) debate as a case study. The Internet is first and foremost a global public space potentially available to everyone for the pursuit of the most heterogeneous interests. As this global space becomes crucial in everyday life and consequences of interests pursuit within it capillary innerve the offline dimension, new forms of governance are required to ensure that all stakeholders are represented and actively involved in the management and development of what can be conceptualized as a common pool resource (CPR). The commons of the Internet space and its service as a CPR necessitate the involvement of various competencies that are dispersed in intelligence networks to which private sector and civil society necessary belong. In particular, we examine the meaning and the potential for the inclusion of civil society entities in this debate in relation to the achievement of a universal (and not only global) Internet and the consolidation of a humanized conception of IG. To this end, we propose an analytical division of IG space in four sub-sectors (social commons; information and service commons; price commons; infrastructure commons) and we argue that civil society groups participation should be contextualized and actions modulated following this dissection of competence and eligibility spheres. Furthermore, the effort to achieve a democratic internet governance translates into a double challenge for civil society groups: on the one hand, occasions of direct influence must be fully exploited modulating actions in a way that overcomes the inherent heterogeneity characterizing public interests entities; on the other, a humanized vision has to be built up and consolidated in the IG field in order to provide a set of benchmarks dynamically interacting with market and traditional policy making logics. Finally, we will also explore the effect that the construction and the consolidation of a humanized perspective on IG will have in the translation of this domain from a mostly technical matter into a seed in an emerging field of contention built around information and communication issues.internet governance, common pool resource, civil society political participation, humanized conception of internet governance

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2001). Beyond our control? Confronting the limits of our legal system in the age of Cyberspace.
  2. (2007). Broadening voices: grassroots tech groups and policy objectives for Internet governance.
  3. (1996). Comparing policy networks. Cambridge:
  4. (1996). Computer networks as social networks: collaborative work, telework and virtual community” in Annual Review of Sociology,
  5. (2007). Diversity reconsidered in a global multi-stakeholder environment: insights from the online world”
  6. (1986). Frame alignment processes, micromobilization and movement participation”,in
  7. (2006). Google agrees to censor service to enter China. Available at http://www.ciol.com/content/news/2006/106012503.asp .
  8. (1999). ICANN and Internet governance: sorting through the debris of self-regulation” in Info,
  9. (1988). Ideology, Frame Resonance, and Participant Mobilization”,
  10. (2008). Information Networks, Internet Governance and Innovation in World Politics”
  11. (2002). Introduction: information technologies and the changing scope of global power and governance.
  12. (2004). Local actors in global politics”
  13. (2005). Multistakehoder diplomacy: foundations, forms, function and frustrations. Paper presented at
  14. (2008). Multistakeholder governance and the Internet Governance Forum.
  15. (1990). Neither market nor hierarchy: networks forms of organization”
  16. (2004). Reframing Internet Governance Discourse: Fifteen Baseline Propositions.”
  17. (1993). RFC 1391- The Tao of the IETF: a guide for new attendees of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
  18. (2007). Technological change as a trade-off between social construction and technological paradigms”
  19. (1989). The domain of the political overlapping consensus” in
  20. (2005). The Internet and political participation : exploring the explanatory links” in
  21. (1996). The new governance: governing without government”
  22. (2003). The political mapping of Cyberspace.
  23. (1995). The virtual CPR: the Internet as a local and global common pool resource.
  24. (2002). The virtual sphere: the internet as a public spehere”
  25. (2008). Transnational communication networks on Internet governance. Mapping an emerging field.
  26. (1997). Virtual policy networks: the internet a model of contemporary governance?
  27. (2006). What’s next for the Internet? Perspectives after the Internet Governance Forum inaugural meeting.
  28. (2006). Why and how technology matters”
  29. (2000). Wrong turn in Cyberspace: using ICANN to route around the APA and the Constitution” in Duke Law Journal,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.