Global governance and the spread of cyberspace controls

  • Deibert R
  • Crete-Nishihata M
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Abstract States are moving to assert their interests more forcefully in cyberspace and associated governance regimes. Traditionally, transnational networks of engineers, based primarily in the United States and Europe, have been the primary architects of cyberspace governance, with the users and private sector shaping cyberspace itself. However, governments are becoming increasingly influential across a number of governance forums and are deliberating on how to exercise power in and through cyberspace. Particularly noteworthy are how nondemocratic states outside of Europe, North America, and parts of Asia have begun to forcefully assert their interests in cyberspace governance regimes, including some, like the International Telecommunications Union, that were previously marginalized in the Internet space. Western liberal democracies are also moving away from laissez-faire and market-oriented approaches to more state-directed controls and regulations. Drawing from international relations theory literature, and in particular constructivist approaches, this article examines international and global mechanisms and dynamics that explain the growth and spread of cyberspace controls. It also provides a study of “norm regression” in global governance: the growth and spread of practices that undercut cyberspace as an open commons of information and communication.

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  • Ronald J. Deibert

  • Masashi Crete-Nishihata

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