Mapping Internet GovernanceThis site hosts an initial effort towards constructing a Map of Internet Governance.
The pages about the key Internet governance fora, as identified in the results of the 2011 survey on Public Interest Representation in Information Society are reasonably well fleshed out, but the other parts are mostly in skeletal form.
Information on the IGF workshop in Nairobi is here.
General IntroductionThe Internet does not have a central administration. However, it is not a total anarchy either. Various aspects of its global governance are, in more or less formalized ways, in the hands of different organizations which generally facilitate some form of participation in the decision-making processes by interested stakeholder organizations and members of the general public. Other aspects, including in particular the task of establishing an adequate legal framework, are in the hands of governments, while the corresponding public policy processes should also build on the results of debates in inclusive international fora such as the International Governance Forum (IGF).
The term "Internet Governance" is meant here in a broad sense here, which includes not only technical and administrative tasks which are necessary for ensuring that it is technically possible to send data from one computer or other internet-connected device to another. Rather, all topics are included which are relevant to the Internet's promise of facilitating knowledge societies in which people are truly empowered.
Every individual and every stakeholder organization has knowledge and interest in some of these topics. However, it can be a daunting task to figure out what are the relevant fora where the particularly important debates and decision-making processes happen, and how effective participation can be achieved.
During the preparatory process for the 2011 IGF meeting, a few people and organizations have decided to work together on creating a "Map of Internet Governance" that is aimed at being practically useful in getting an overview of various topics of Internet Governance, and in figuring out which are the International Governance related fora and organizations where participation would be worthwhile from the perspective of one's particular interests.
The plan is that the resulting document should contain not only descriptions of a large number of International Governance topics and fora, but also overviews from a variety of perspectives, including:
- Internet Governance for Development (IG4D), which is a priority theme for the 2011 IGF.
- Which aspects of Internet Governance are particularly relevant to international economic power struggles, and what are the main conflicts of interest?
- Which Internet Governance fora and debates are particularly relevant for informing public policy processes?
- What are the important aspects for empowering cities to re-imagine themselves as digital entities?
- Perspective on public interest representation: How do the various Internet Governance institutions provide for public interest representation, or in what ways have they been reasonably criticized for not having adequate representation of public interest concerns?
Workshop at the IGF in NairobiThe needs and plans for this map have been discussed at a workshop at the 2011 IGF in Nairobi.
Norbert Bollow, updated 2017-03-28.