The research projects which I currently lead are based on sociological, communication and political science/international relations theoretical frameworks. The primary project is an examination of “The New Multistakeholderism Equation and Internet Governance”. It uses a case study approach involving quasi-ethnographic research methods and network analyses. With a particular focus on the Internet Governance Forum and its dynamic coalitions, it examines and maps possible knowledge transfer both within and across four of these dynamic coalitions. Investigating the ‘absorptive capacity’ of the Internet Governance Forum itself as well as of the specific dynamic coalitions, my project asks the following questions: How do multistakeholder organizations integrate knowledge within and across boundaries? How do culture and communication technologies play roles in these complex networks, set across power divides and related inequalities and in relation to interacting clusters of institutions? It also explores the question of to what extent actors from disadvantaged groups are involved in these networks. Finally, this project seeks to use and compare models of stakeholder roles in related governance arenas including the environment, trade and health. The second project on which I am working focuses more directly on digital divides and internet governance. It examines idea entrepreneurship, borrowing from both the communication and business literatures. Here I use models from the diffusion of innovation literature and also from the field of cross-cultural communication and interorganizational learning. These two projects stem from a series of research-based case studies that I have used for teaching/curricular purposes: these case studies focus on one actor within the broader internet governance arena, ICANN, from its earliest days until approximately 2005. Taken as a whole, these projects recognize the blurring boundaries among sectors and the concomitant need for both theoretical frameworks and research methods that cross disciplinary boundaries and capture best the complex and often fractal internet governance related policy spaces encompassing nation-state governments, regional governments, local governments, international organizations, private sector and civil society. My particular interest is in exploring patterns of change and actual outcomes surrounding the interacting, converging internet related technologies and actors who may be included or excluded from such policy spaces.
Levinson, N. S. (2008). Description Of Current Research Projects On Internet Governance. In 1st International Giganet Workshop. Paris,France.