Internet governance (IG) as a diplomatic priority

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Paque, Virginia
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University of Malta; DiploFoundation
This dissertation demonstrates that IG is a significant, emerging diplomatic process that should be studied and addressed seriously by diplomats to prepare them to manage the implications it has for future impact on global governance of the Internet. It does this by providing definitions of both the Internet and governance, and a basic overview of the antecedents of Internet policy processes. This serves to show the complexities and cross-linkages involved in the growth of the Internet, and the development of Internet governance (IG) as a global process area. Briefly exploring how IG is different from other processes where diplomats act, it introduces the idea of multistakeholder policy-shaping for IG. A review of the main issues in IG, classified in the broader areas of infrastructure, legal, cybersecurity, economic, sociocultural, and development issues, offers a foundation for understanding the importance of IG, how the issues interact, and how they affect the global IG policy environment. An overview of the main processes and venues where IG is addressed underscores the multiplicity of fora where issues are addressed, and the need to achieve crossover between policy and issue silos. These conditions all point to the important potential role for diplomats in IG.