My new book, Networks and States: The global politics of Internet governance, will be released at a special event at the upcoming Internet Governance Forum. The event will be held at 12:15 on Monday, September 13, in Hall (Sale) 5, Room 3 of the LITEXPO outside Vilnius.
The MIT Press is the publisher of the book, as part of its series on “The Information Revolution and Global Politics.” There will be an event sponsored by MIT Press to launch the book and meet the author. Dr. William Drake, one of the series editors, will make some comments about the book and the series; you will also be able to examine other titles in the series and meet members of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet).
With its focus on the “global politics of Internet governance” this book takes on a very big theme: the often-conflicting relationship between the global internet and government by territorial nation-states.
We all tend to accept as “natural” the territorial state as the appropriate method for regulating communications and information. When governments claim that they represent their citizens and that they should set public policy for the Internet, we tend to accept it.
On the other hand we also are aware of the globally interconnected nature of the internet – its ability to link people without regard to political boundaries. We know that the Internet’s early escape from national control and stricter forms of regulation has produced innovation, greater freedom of information and many economic benefits. We know, too, that rivalries among states could militarize the internet and break down its global interoperability. This contradiction between the potential of networks and the power of states, I argue, is what makes Internet governance an interesting and unique topic.
Networks and States explores this tension in depth, and constructs an argument for forms of internet governance that favor the transnational over the national; for networks over states. It shows how recent theories about networked governance and peer production can be applied to the internet. It also charts the historical evolution of global internet governance institutions, including the formation of a transnational policy network around the World Summit on the Information Society and the IGF.
Where my previous book, Ruling the Root, covered the origins of ICANN this one covers the whole gamut of global Internet governance issues and policies: not just critical internet resources, but also copyright and trademark protection, cyber-security, and content regulation.