Institute for Resource Management
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Internet Governance: transnational forms of democratic organisation and coordination in the internet

Internet Governance: Democracy in the internet?

© Gerd Altmann  /

© Gerd Altmann /

What form will decision-making processes take in the internet in the future? This question follows a series of projects that have been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as well as by the Federal Government's responsible for cultural and media affairs. They are concerned with the novel forms of regulation that are at this moment emerging in the internet. inter 3 is carrying out an investigation into current developments in the area of Domain Name System (DNS) and decision-making processes in the internet.

Building on the work of the project group "internet as a cultural space”, a second project generation on the subject of internet governance has arisen. Two empirical research proposals are in the foreground of the study: firstly the reform of the Domain Name System (DNS), secondly the decision-making process in the internet.

Objective: The role of the ICANN as coordination organ of the internet

Numerical web addresses and domain names represent indispensable prerequisites for access to, and use of the internet. The aim of the investigation of the DNS is to analyse the different areas of interest and reform options, and then to assess how these affect the user’s communication opportunities and the ways of using the internet.

The investigation of global decision-making processes in the internet ties in with the discussion on trends towards transnationalisation in the field of international relations. The empirical focus of the work is the internet’s new administration and coordination organ, the "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers" (ICANN). Central to this is the relationship between national territorial forms of democratic decision-making, and those not bound by territory. Ein besonderes Interesse gilt in diesem Zusammenhang der noch ungeklärten Rolle der Nutzer innerhalb von ICANN. In connection to this, the until now unclarified role of the user in internet governance is of particular interest. The aim of the investigation is to contribute to advancing theory-building on transnational forms of democratic organisation and coordination.

Project name:
Internet Governance

Dr. Shahrooz Mohajeri
Tel.: +49(0)30 34 34 74 40

Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) Federal Government's responsible for cultural and media affairs (Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Angelegenheiten der Kultur und der Medien)

Location: Berlin

Duration: 2000 - 2002