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Networks and States

The Global Politics of Internet Governance

Milton L. Mueller

Publication Year: 2010

How institutions for Internet governance are emerging from the tension between the territorially bound nation-state and a transnational network society.

Published by: The MIT Press

Series: Information Revolution and Global Politics


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-7

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1. A Battle for the Soul of the Internet

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pp. 1-13

A distinctive global politics is developing around the Internet. Like global trade and environmental policy, Internet governance has become a point of international conflict among states and a target of transnational policy advocates from business and civil society. This book examines Internet governance as a basis for contentious politics and institutional change at the global...

I. Networks and Governance

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pp. 15-51

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2. Networks in Action

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pp. 17-30

Network has become a trendy term. We are said to live in a networked society or, even more grandly, the network society.1 Instead of the wealth of nations, we read about the wealth of networks.2 Political scientists searching for new labels to describe the ferment in global governance have joined this parade. We hear of global public policy networks...

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3. Do Networks Govern?

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pp. 31-51

The cases in chapter 2 provided concrete demonstrations of ways in which networks of actors leveraging the capabilities of the Internet can create issues of Internet governance. We now delve deeper into the concepts of network organization and networked governance as they have developed in the social sciences. This chapter looks at...

II. Transnational Institutions

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pp. 53-125

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4. World Summit on the Information Society: The State-centric View

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pp. 55-80

The rise of an Internet centered in the United States was a disruptive event in the system of international relations formed around communication and information policy. It is only natural that such a disturbance would provoke a reaction and adjustment. The United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) provided the institutional vehicle for the reaction...

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5. Civil Society Mobilization

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pp. 81-105

In addition to its encounter with ICANN, the WSIS process pushed against another frontier of global institutional change. It experimented with efforts to make international organizations more open and democratic by facilitating the participation of nonstate actors. This, too, had long-term effects, leaving in its wake a new transnational policy network on Internet...

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6. The Internet Governance Forum

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pp. 107-125

At the World Summit on the Information Society in 2005, the United Nations responded to the institutional innovation of ICANN with an innovation of its own, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). IGF has been described as if it were a pathbreaking innovation in global governance.1 It has also been dismissed as a meaningless talk...

III. Drivers of Internet Governance

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pp. 127-135

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7. IP versus IP

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pp. 129-157

As Internet protocol began to spread virally over telecommunication networks in the early 1990s, a T-shirt sported by Vint Cerf, one of the inventors of the protocol, proudly proclaimed “ IP on everything! ” A few years later, Cerf’ s T-shirt motto became “ Everything on IP! ” as he celebrated the coming together of all modes of communication...

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8. Security Governance on the Internet

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pp. 159-183

From a news story “ Desperate Botnet Battlers Call for an Internet Driver’s License ” : “ Internet-crime fighters from security companies, law enforcement agencies, banks and e-commerce sites huddled at a secretive conference last week to confer on new tactics in the war on cybercrime. . . . A few audience members argued seriously that computer users should...

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9. Content Regulation

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pp. 185-214

In the summer of 2008, the British mobile telecommunication service provider Vodafone announced that it would block access to Web sites with child pornography and racist content in the Czech Republic. That content was, Vodafone claimed, so “ socially dangerous . . . that we have access to it automatically blocked for all of our customers. ” Six months later, Czech...

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10. Critical Internet Resources

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pp. 215-251

During and immediately after WSIS, the term critical Internet resources became the code word for policy debate over the ICANN regime and all that it represented. Insofar as the phrase had any substantive meaning, it referred to the governance of Internet standards, domain names, and IP addresses, and to the interconnection and routing arrangements...

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11. Ideologies and Visions

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pp. 253-271

The World Summit on the Information Society was just the most public symptom of the Internet’s profound impact on the global politics of communication and information. While it was the management of critical Internet resources that provided the flashpoint for WSIS, we have seen how the regulation of Internet content, the protection of copyrights and trademarks...


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pp. 273-285


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pp. 287-313

E-ISBN-13: 9780262289665
E-ISBN-10: 0262289660
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262014595
Print-ISBN-10: 0262014599

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 7 figures
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Information Revolution and Global Politics