Together with my colleague Benjamin Bergemann, I wrote an essay on the ambivalence of the notion of “informed consent” in data protection. On the one hand we regard the informed consent as means of self-determination and autonomy protecting our right to data protection and privacy. On the other hand, the informed consent provides for the functioning of the data driven Internet economy, risking to deprive us of our right to data protection and privacy. Hofmann, Jeanette, Bergemann, Benjamin, Die informierte Einwilligung: Ein Datenschutzphantom, Spektrum der Wissenschaft Kompakt, “Der Digitale Mensch”, 50 – 59. [unfortunately there is only a German version]
This article assumes that the multi-stakeholder concept is a fiction that provides meaning to a disorderly world. However, the multi-stakeholder concept does not only represent reality, it also gives rise to expectations, objectives and benchmarks. A second assumption of this article, therefore, is that the multi-stakeholder concept is performative. To the extent that the actors in Internet governance identify with its tale of inclusion and bottom-up policymaking, they are struggling to achieve its goals including those that Yaron Ezrahi would call a ‘publicly “believable impossibility”’. It is the effort of implementing the multi-stakeholder fiction which is at the centre of this article. Its performative power will be explored with regard to three common imaginaries: the imaginary of global representation, the democratisation of the transnational sphere and the possibility of improved outcomes. Two organisations, both of which strongly promote the multi-stakeholder approach, will ser
Following recent theoretical contributions, this article suggests a new approach to finding the governance in Internet governance. Studies on Internet governance rely on contradictory notions of governance. The common understanding of governance as some form of deliberate steering or regulation clashes with equally common definitions of Internet governance as distributed modes of ordering. Drawing on controversies in the broader field of governance and regulation studies, we propose to resolve this conceptual conundrum by grounding governance in mundane activities of coordination. We define governance as reflexive coordination – focusing on those ‘critical moments’, when routine activities become problematic and need to be revised, thus, when regular coordination itself requires coordination. Regulation, in turn, can be understood as targeted public or private interventions aiming to influence the behaviour of others. With this distinction between governance and regulation, we offer a
Until now research on policy fields or domains has focused mainly on their structure, and the constellation of actors and interests and less on the emergence or decline of policy fields. So far there exists only anecdotal evidence about mechanisms that drive the emergence of policy fields. In this article we argue that new policy fields can only emerge if two processes interact: politicization and individuation. If one of these two dimensions is missing this leads to administrative-technocratic or political usurpation or to differentiation of existing regulations and institutions, but not to the emergence of a new policy field. We illustrate this rare case by analyzing the contradictory dynamics in relation to “Netzpolitik” (internet politics) in Germany over the last 20 years. Haunss, Sebastian, Hofmann, Jeanette: Entstehung von Politikfeldern – Bedingungen einer Anomalie [Article link, German], der moderne staat – Zeitschrift für Public Policy, Recht und Management, 1, 29 – 49.
Together with my colleagues Kirsten Gollatz and Sarah Herweg, I wrote a case study on the Enquete-Kommission Internet und digitale Gesellschaft (Enquete Commission on Internet and Digital Society), a parliamentary inquiry body of the German Bundestag that conducted its work from May 2010 until April 2013. It is part of a paper which synthesizes a set of twelve case studies of real-world governance structures. The publication can be found on SSRN.
In this small essay, I examine the challenges of our digital society, and discuss the importance of algorithms, and getting internet governance right. The article was published as part of the series “Digital Minds for a New Europe“. You can read it here.
This paper contributes to the recent move towards a more systematic reflection on the conceptual foundations of Internet governance. It is led by the question of how to define (Internet) governance in a way that is theoretically grounded as well as empirically instructive. For this aim, it mobilizes literature from the broader field of governance and regulation studies as well as sociological theory and applies these concepts to issues of Internet governance. A brief literature review reveals that studies on Internet governance rely on partly contradictory notions of governance. The common understanding as some form of deliberate steering or regulation clashes with equally common definitions of Internet governance that emphasize its distributed and heterogeneous character taking ordering effects of interconnection agreements or discursive arenas like the IGF into account. Drawing on controversies in the broader field of governance and regulation studies, we suggest to dissolve this con
Professor Virgílio Fernandes Almeida, chairman of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance 2014 in Brazil (NETmundial) has invited Fadi Chehade, Andile Ngcaba, Subi Chaturvedi and me to co-chair the conference. Together, the multistakeholder chairmanship will ensure coordination among all the committees and the success of the conference. The Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance will focus on crafting Internet governance principles and proposing a roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem. The meeting is scheduled for April 23rd and 24th 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and will be live webcast enabling remote participation. The meeting follows an initiative proposed by CGI.br and /1net. #netmundial2014
Andreas Beckmann hat für die Sendung Aus Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften des Deutschlandfunks ein längeres Gespräch über die neue Forschungsgruppe Politikfeld Internet am Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung Berlin geführt. Den Beitrag gibt es hier zum Nachhören und Nachlesen. Am Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin untersucht ein neues Forschungsprojekt das “Politikfeld Internet”. Meinungsfreiheit auf der einen Seite, Sicherheit und Regulierung auf der anderen Seite – das Spannungsfeld zwischen diesen Positionen sollen die Wissenschaftler beleuchten. Download als MP3