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In Search of Internet Governance: Performing Order in Digitally Networked Environments

Author: Ziewitz, M. & Pentzold, C.
Published in: New Media & Society, 16(2), 306-322
Year: 2014
Type: Academic articles

Internet governance is a difficult horse to catch. Far from being a coherent field of study, it presents itself as scattered across a range of theoretical, methodological, analytical and disciplinary approaches. Internet governance, it seems, is many things at once and thus a rather incoherent enterprise. In this paper, we critically review existing literatures on governance on, of and through the internet and draw attention to the ways in which they help perform the worlds in which they have their place. Retelling the case of the Twitter Joke Trial, we highlight the contingent and at times conflicting roles attributed to actors and technology as well as the concerns that come with these. Rather than striving for a coherent definition of “internet governance”, we argue that acknowledging the performativity of modes of governance has significant implications and can be made productive for both research and practice.


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Christian Pentzold, Prof. Dr.

Associated Researcher: The evolving digital society

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