Cooperation and Conflict in Multistakeholder Governance Processes: the case of internet governance with a focus on internet filtering


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Daniel Oppermann

Cientista Político, Observatório Político Sul-Americano (OPSA) - Rio de Janeiro

In recent years multistakeholder cooperation has been increasing in a number of governance processes. While traditionally international cooperation was dominated by souvereign states the rising number of actors involved in different aspects of globalization is today also reflected in their participation in former intergovernmental-only negotiations and forums. More and more private companies and civil society actors become involved in discussions and policy making processes. The case discussed in this paper is the Internet Governance Process, that happens mainly within the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The IGF is a result of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which takes place once a year since 2006. Its goal is to discuss Internet Governance on a broad range in a multistakeholder environment. The focus of this paper lies on the problem of Internet Filtering. Increasinly, states are using different ways and technologies to filter Internet content and thereby limiting the right of free access to information for their own people. The most known and discussed case is China but there are a considerable number of exemples, both authoritarian and democratic states use Internet filters. These filters are provided by private companies and challenged by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), making the group of stakeholders complete. This paper will discuss the interests of different stakeholders as well as the possibilities and limits of a multistakeholder environment to address the problem of Internet filtering in the Internet governance process

Centro Brasileiro de Relações Internacionais