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Internet GovernanceInfrastructure and Institutions$
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Lee A. Bygrave and Jon Bing

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199561131

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199561131.001.0001

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Models of Internet governance

Models of Internet governance

(p.48) 2 Models of Internet governance
Internet Governance

Lawrence B. Solum

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a typology of various models of governance forms that impinge, or are assumed to impinge, on the Internet. Five such models are analysed. One model is based on a view of the Internet as a self-governing realm of individual liberty beyond the reach of government control. Another model takes as its point of departure the inherently cross-border nature of the Internet and sees transnational, quasi-private cooperatives or international organizations based on treaty arrangements as the most relevant institutions for Internet governance. A third model is based on the notion that many regulatory decisions are made by the code and architecture of the Internet. A fourth model is premised on the idea that as the Internet grows in importance fundamental regulatory decisions will be made by national governments through legal regulation. Finally, there is the model of market regulation and economics which assumes that market forces drive the fundamental decisions about the nature of the Internet. The chapter argues that no single one of these models captures all of the facets of Internet governance or offers the solution to all of the problems raised by Internet governance. It concludes with a discussion of the issue of network neutrality and attempts thereby to cast light on the future utility of the models concerned.

Keywords:   cyberspace, spontaneous ordering, network neutrality, international organizations, code, Internet architecture, national governments, market regulation

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