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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
Year: 2013
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 disciplinary approaches that come with distinct theoretical, methodological and analytical preoccupations. In this paper, we critically review existing literatures on governance of, on 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 people, technologies and institutions, as well as the concerns that come with these. Rather than striving for a coherent definition of ‘internet governance’, we draw on recent work in science and technology studies to show that acknowledging the performativity and multiplicity of different modes of governance can open up a productive line of inquiry into the recursive relationship between governance research and practice.

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Christian Pentzold, Prof. Dr.

Associated Researcher: The evolving digital society

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