Will the Internet Fragment? Sovereignty, globalization and cyberspace

Title: Will the Internet Fragment? Sovereignty, globalization and cyberspace
Format: Book
Publication Date: 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.

Ivan Allen College Contributors:

Polity Press. Publisher's Site.

  • Information and Communications Technology Policy
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Related Departments:
  • School of Public Policy