Chapter 5. Reform of Internet governance


The IGF, obviously, is the beginning of something. Yesterday I actually said it wasn’t the beginning of something. I said we were mid-process. But clearly if we are in mid-process, we are in the start of that middle process.

  Kenneth Cukier
Table of Contents
5.1. WSIS
5.1.1. Processes
5.1.2. First phase
5.1.3. WGIG
5.1.4. Second phase
5.2. IGF
5.2.1. Preparations
5.2.2. The First Meeting
5.2.3. Outcomes
5.2.4. The Second Meeting
5.3. Regional initiatives
5.4. Other proposals
5.4.1. Anarchistic
5.4.2. Hierarchical
5.4.3. Democratic
5.4.4. Consensual
5.5. The need for further reform

At this point, the theoretical background required to assess the legitimacy and likely effectiveness of present and future arrangements for Internet governance is in place. In Chapter 2 the institutions and main issue areas of Internet governance up to the date of establishment of the IGF were described, in Chapter 3 the international context in which Internet-related public policy-making takes place was laid out, and from Chapter 4 an understanding was given of the organisational forms suitable to this endeavour.

What has not yet been touched upon is how the institutions of Internet governance as outlined in Chapter 2 have been and are being reformed—most importantly, but not exclusively, through the establishment of the IGF—and the context in which this process sits with alternative proposals. The purpose of this chapter is therefore to describe these matters, while the purpose of the next will be to assess the prevailing Internet governance regime as thus outlined against the theoretical background developed over previous chapters.