Editors’ Note: Does the global diffusion of the Internet signify the final end of the state’s ability to control society, or is the state on the contrary maintaining or even strengthening its hold of society? Several observers have taken the latter position, most recently Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu, authors of Who Controls the Internet? (2006), while critics claim this is grossly misleading, and that international regimes and a myriad of non-state actors such as private firms and non-governmental organizations play a much greater role in Internet governance. In our view, thus structured, such debate risks reiterating a much older (and largely stalemated) debate about whether the nation-state is “obstinate or obsolete”, mirrored also in the larger debate about globalization. The present Forum seeks to move beyond this unfruitful deadlock by discussing what actors are controlling what aspects of Internet usage, and under what conditions. A brief introduction to this is given in the first essay, written by the Editors. The following contributions demonstrate that, rather than seeking a final word on who controls the Internet, it is more fruitful to unpack the complexity of control in the digital age, and indeed the diversity and preliminary nature of available analyses. It is also for this reason we have invited contributors who elaborate a variety of perspectives, including a stout defender of state-centrism, advocates of perspectives emphasizing complexity, interactivity, and discourse and a contributor who unravels the complexity of public-private partnerships in Internet control. We believe that the global scope and spatial origins of the authors in this Forum imply experiences and outlooks which help reveal new insights and cross-fertilizations, which goes beyond the dominant U.S.-centered perspectives on international relations in general and the Internet in particular.

The Forum: Who Controls the Internet? Beyond the Obstinacy and Obsolescence of the State

GIACOMELLO, GIAMPIERO
2009

Abstract

Editors’ Note: Does the global diffusion of the Internet signify the final end of the state’s ability to control society, or is the state on the contrary maintaining or even strengthening its hold of society? Several observers have taken the latter position, most recently Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu, authors of Who Controls the Internet? (2006), while critics claim this is grossly misleading, and that international regimes and a myriad of non-state actors such as private firms and non-governmental organizations play a much greater role in Internet governance. In our view, thus structured, such debate risks reiterating a much older (and largely stalemated) debate about whether the nation-state is “obstinate or obsolete”, mirrored also in the larger debate about globalization. The present Forum seeks to move beyond this unfruitful deadlock by discussing what actors are controlling what aspects of Internet usage, and under what conditions. A brief introduction to this is given in the first essay, written by the Editors. The following contributions demonstrate that, rather than seeking a final word on who controls the Internet, it is more fruitful to unpack the complexity of control in the digital age, and indeed the diversity and preliminary nature of available analyses. It is also for this reason we have invited contributors who elaborate a variety of perspectives, including a stout defender of state-centrism, advocates of perspectives emphasizing complexity, interactivity, and discourse and a contributor who unravels the complexity of public-private partnerships in Internet control. We believe that the global scope and spatial origins of the authors in this Forum imply experiences and outlooks which help reveal new insights and cross-fertilizations, which goes beyond the dominant U.S.-centered perspectives on international relations in general and the Internet in particular.
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/80992
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 29
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 33
social impact