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National parliaments as emerging Internet Governance actors

Governance
Institutions
Parliaments
Regulation
UN
Global
Internet
Mauro Santaniello
Università degli Studi di Salerno
Francesco Amoretti
Department of Political, Social and Communication Sciences of the University of Salerno (Italy)
Mauro Santaniello
Università degli Studi di Salerno

Abstract

Government has always been the nation-state actor par excellence in the governance of the Internet. The essential role of the US government in building the cyberspace is a historical fact, as well as its leading role in transforming it from a public domain into a private order during the 1990s. Other governments have been questioning the dominant model of the Internet governance since the early 2000s, leading to the UN-led process of the World Summit on Information Society and to the rising of the multi-stakeholder governance model. Nowadays, government coalitions and intergovernmental organizations are still challenging each other in order to shape power relations in the global Internet governance regime. On the other hand, in the last few years, an increasing number of relevant initiatives concerning the governance of the Internet have emerged from national parliaments all over the world. In Brazil, the Philippines, Italy, New Zealand, France, Cambodia and other countries, a heterogeneous set of laws and bills have been produced in order to establish Internet-related rights, duties and governance principles. This paper presents a comparative analysis of parliamentarian initiatives aiming at regulating the Internet. Political issues, deliberative processes and policy outcomes of this new and manifold process of Internet politicization are investigated, as well as the relationship between parliamentarian and governmental visions of the Internet governance. The main goal of this paper is to explore how, and to what extent, parliaments can raise their initiatives from the nation-state level to the global scenario, assuming a prominent role in the governance of the Internet.