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Free Content Local Power, Global Reach: The Domestic Institutional Roots of Internet Governance

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How can we explain policy positions and varying patterns of influence in global Internet governance? This paper argues that much of contemporary Internet governance is the result of domestic political struggles unfolding transnationally. Both policy preferences and power are rooted in domestic political and regulatory institutions. By focusing on the domestic institutional determinants of individual government influence, we can shed light on why Europe has prevailed in some areas, the US in others and why other countries have generally been rule-takers in the field of Internet governance. Domestic regulatory institutions are a critical determinant of power in global governance and Internet governance is no exception. Countries with a clearly defined set of domestic market rules are best positioned to advance their preferences internationally, particularly if they can leverage sizeable domestic markets towards that end.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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