Global Governance and the Local Internet

Global Governance and the Local Internet

Y. Ibrahim (University of Brighton, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-213-8.ch012


The Internet is often thought of as a unified technology that transcends traditional geopolitical boundaries. For this reason, early discussions of the Internet often advocated the idea that nation states would have either limited or no control over this exclusively electronic domain. The subsequent need for protocols and standardization of the Internet, however, led to the development of formal institutions such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It also led more nations to adopt policies designed to promote, control, and mold the Internet culturally and politically within their jurisdictional boundaries. The trajectory of the Internet’s history and global governance nevertheless reveals the increasing encroachment of the nation-states in shaping the Internet as a local entity. This chapter outlines the characteristics and intrinsic qualities of the Internet which make it a global entity and how it has been deemed ungovernable in the conventional terms.

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