5.4. Other proposals

The process that led to the establishment of the IGF at WSIS did not take place in a vacuum. It was rather the outcome of the convergence of pre-existing forces driven by diverse actors seeking to reform existing Internet governance arrangements, and produced a compromise that adequately accommodated the heterogeneous interests of the most powerful of those actors. Some of those interests may have been addressed by the IGF’s establishment, but others were not; as seen in the continued pressure for movement on “enhanced cooperation,” from the Forum hawks in particular.

Many of the actors involved in the WSIS process had, and some still have, their own agenda for Internet governance reform, and some of these will be briefly discussed here. The purpose of doing so is not to provide a catalogue of other proposals for Internet governance reform, but simply to take the opportunity, before drawing the thesis’s final conclusions, to consider whether any other proposals contain pearls of wisdom missing from all other alternatives considered before now.

Although there is insufficient space to mention all such proposals, the selection of those that are of most interest is made easier by the fact that previous chapters have established firstly that Internet public policy governance must, particularly in some issue areas, be conducted on a global basis, and secondly that governance by network should exist at the core of any Internet governance regime, although other mechanisms of governance such as rules, norms, markets and architecture will also come into play.

That being so, the typology that will be adopted here, drawing from Chapter 4, considers proposals not according to which mechanism of governance they favour, since most will require the use of several mechanisms of governance (and should therefore be broadly consistent with a core of governance by network), but rather according to the form that the institutions utilising or embodying those mechanisms are most likely to take: anarchistic, hierarchical, democratic or consensual.