Title: Legitimate governing of the internet

Authors: Rolf H. Weber, Mirina Grosz

Addresses: Law Faculty of the University of Zurich, Ramistrasse 74/38, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland. ' Law Faculty of the University of Zurich, Ramistrasse 74/38, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract: Numerous discussions on internet governance have revolved around the prevailing issue of legitimacy aspects, not least due to the fact that the internet is not confined to technical issues, but also implies policy-making decisions. In the course of addressing legitimacy in international governance, the tendency to rely on democratic principles can be identified. Such an approach, however, should be subject to enhanced scrutiny, since perceptions of both democracy and legitimacy vary and run the risk of merely replacing one complex and vague generic term by another. Furthermore, no quick solution can be expected from adherence to the general concept of multi-stakeholderism either. The questions remain, how players can be designated, procedures ensured and outcomes secured that are deemed legitimate. New approaches are welcome and will need further elaboration to pave the way forward towards a generally accepted, stable internet governance framework complying with legitimacy expectations raised by the various stakeholders concerned.

Keywords: internet governance; legitimacy; democracy; multi-stakeholderism; stakeholders; world wide web; www.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPL.2009.024146

International Journal of Private Law, 2009 Vol.2 No.3, pp.316 - 330

Published online: 27 Mar 2009 *

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