NETGOV: The Politics and Ethics of Internet Governance and Internet Infrastructure

This research looks at the politics and ethics of Internet governance through the technical management of the Internet’s infrastructure. It aims to give insights into how the technology underling the Internet’s digital information flows, and the specific role of industry therein, is vital to understanding and ultimately improving current societal and political developments.

Infrastructures make societies possible. Roads, bridges, dams, first, then later transport, communication and utilities. Increasingly, digital information infrastructures – like the Internet – are part of what makes our societies prosper. The Internet influences who can connect to whom, and how. In turn, these choices can have a fundamental impact on the Internet’s ability to foster or endanger the public interest, especially in terms of social justice, civil liberties, and human rights.  And as this network-of-networks becomes ever more important – from managing our critical infrastructures like the electricity grid to managing our social lives – so do the politics and ethics of its (technical) governance.

This research will primarily use qualitative methods and formulate a normative argument on ‘good’ Internet governance. The outcomes of this research will include a broad set of Internet governance best-practices and actionable policy suggestions for political and technical bodies alike.