Internet Governance: The New Frontier of Global Institutions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Internet Governance

The New Frontier of Global Institutions, 1st Edition

By John Mathiason


180 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2008-08-04
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The expansion of the Internet has been called the most revolutionary development in the history of human communications. It is ubiquitous and is changing politics, economics and social relations. Its borderless nature affects the roles of individuals, the magic of the marketplace and the problems of government regulation. As its development has increased apace, contradictions have arisen between existing regulatory regimes, private interests, government concerns, international norms and national interests. Unlike most areas where there are global institutions, and the role of governments is predominant, the Internet is a field where the private sector and civil society each have a role as important – or sometimes more important – than governments.

Based on international regime theory, this book analyses how the multi-stakeholder institutions have grown along with the Internet itself. Starting with an examination of how communications were regulated under the Westphalian system, John Mathiason shows how governance of the Internet started as a technical issue but became increasingly political as the management of critical resources began to conflict with other international regimes.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. What is the Internet and what is governance? 2. Before the Internet: communications and its regulation through history 3. The non-state actors: engineers, entrepreneurs and netizens 4. Solving the domain name problem: Internet governance is born 5. Regulatory imperatives for Internet governance: downloading music, free speech, You-tube, porn, and crime and terrorism 6. The ICANN experiment 7. Multi-stakeholderism emerges from the World Summit on the Information Society 8. The IGF experiment begins 9. What does the frontier look like?

About the Author

John Mathiason is Professor International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. A former official of the United Nations Secretariat, he is the author of Invisible Governance: International Secretariats in Global Politics and many articles on global governance.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General