Milton L Mueller


Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
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DM Smith 302
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Milton Mueller is an internationally prominent scholar specializing in the political economy of information and communication. The author of seven books and scores of journal articles, his work informs not only public policy but also science and technology studies, law, economics, communications, and international studies. His books Will the Internet Fragment? (Polity, 2017), Networks and States: The global politics of Internet governance (MIT Press, 2010) and Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2002) are acclaimed scholarly accounts of the global governance regime emerging around the Internet. Mueller’s research employs the theoretical tools of institutional economics, STS and political economy, as well as historical, qualitative and quantitative methods.

Dr. Mueller’s prominence in scholarship is matched by his prominence in policy practice. He is the co-founder and director of the Internet Governance Project (IGP), a policy analysis center for global Internet governance. Since its founding in 2004, IGP has played a prominent role in shaping global Internet policies and institutions such as ICANN and the Internet Governance Forum. He has participated in proceedings and policy development activities of ICANN, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and regulatory proceedings in the European Commission, China, Hong Kong and New Zealand. He has served as an expert witness in prominent legal cases related to domain names and telecommunication policy. He was elected to the Advisory Committee of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) from 2013-2016, and appointed in 2014 to the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group. Dr. Mueller has also been a practical institution-builder in the scholarly world, where he led the creation of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), an international association of scholars.


  • The Internet Governance Project
    Founded in 2004, the Internet Governance Project (IGP) has grown to be a leading source of analysis of global Internet policy and Internet resource management that is widely read by governments, industry and civil society organizations. IGP both researches and analyzes global Internet policy issues on our blog and in our publications.
  • Institutional Design for Authoritative Attribution in Cybersecurity
    This project explores the feasibility of creating a global institution to perform authoritative public cyber-attributions. Attribution of a cyberattack (who did it?) is important because it contributes to the accountability of actors in cyberspace. The need for it is especially great in the case of nation-state actors. The key insight of this proposal is that the achievement of authoritative attributions is an institutional accomplishment as well as a product of forensics and computer science. The science and technology of attribution must be supplemented by the creation of an independent organization whose attribution decisions are widely perceived as unbiased, legitimate and valid, even among parties who might be antagonistic (such as rival nation-states). But while there is significant investment in the technical aspects of attribution, there is very little on the societal and institutional aspects..
Areas of
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet Governance
  • Telecommunications And Internet Policy
Research Fields:
  • Economic History
  • Economics of Telecommunications Networks
  • Emerging Technology and Security
  • Information Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Information and Communications Technology Policy
  • Political Economy
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • International Communication
  • PUBP-3020: Applied Political Econ
  • PUBP-3502: IT/Comm/Telecom Policy
  • PUBP-4725: Info Security Policies
  • PUBP-6502: IT/Comm/Telecom Policy
  • PUBP-6725: Info Security Policies
  • PUBP-6727: Cyber Sec Practicum
  • PUBP-8823: Special Topics
Recent Publications


  • Will the Internet Fragment? Sovereignty, globalization and cyberspace

    May 2017

    The Internet has united the world as never before. But is it in danger of breaking apart? Cybersecurity, geopolitical tensions, and calls for data sovereignty have made many believe that the Internet is fragmenting. In this incisive new book, Milton Mueller argues that the ‘fragmentation’ diagnosis misses the mark. The network effects and economic benefits of global compatibility are so powerful that they have consistently defeated, and will continue to defeat, any structural fracturing of the Net. The rhetoric of ‘fragmentation’ camouflages the real issue: the attempt by governments to align information flows with their jurisdictional boundaries. The fragmentation debate is really a power struggle over the future of national sovereignty. It pits global governance and open access against the traditional territorial institutions of government. This conflict, the book argues, can only be resolved through radical institutional innovations. We need to move away from national sovereignty and towards popular sovereignty in cyberspace. Will the Internet Fragment? is essential reading for students and scholars of media and communications, as well as anyone concerned about the quality of Internet governance.

Journal Articles

Internet Publications