International Professional Fora:

A study of civil society organisation participation in internet governance

International Professional Fora:

A study of civil society organisation participation in internet governance

Does civil society participation in self-regulatory fora promote public interest goals in internet governance at the international level? Over a period of three years, the project will lift the lid on standard-setting at the international level with detailed insight into a world which, although highly technical, very much affects the way in which citizens live and work on a daily basis. 

Civil society participation has long been observed in international organisations with state representation such as the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). However, there has been less analysis of participation of civil society groups in technical standard developing organisations (SDOs) with no formal state involvement which is the goal of the project. There have been recent moves towards active inclusion of a wider number of participants within such fora at the international level. Such developments include a 2012 Joint Statement of Affirmation signed by the IETF, the Internet Society (ISOC), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which commits the organisations to an “open participatory process” and a report in 2013 by the Internet Society which states “multistakeholder governance is the only way forward for Internet Governance”. In 2013, the European Commission (EC) established the Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) which aims to establish an on-line platform to include “all stakeholders across the world in debates and decisions on internet policies” with a “core alliance of countries and non-governmental organisations”.  

The project investigates solutions put forth by different actors in SDOs with case studies on standards for privacy/data protection; mobile communications and open source software. This will be an invaluable study considering that the standards have a salient role to play in the development of markets and citizens interaction in the world today but are, at the same time, immensely technical, technocratic and largely inaccessible to the non-expert.




IntCivSoc The UK Government will release its long-awaited Digital Strategy on March 1 which will include a review on #AI
02:10PM Feb 27
IntCivSoc The ITU have released their draft report on the technical requirements for #5G
11:30AM Feb 27
IntCivSoc Kal Raustiala answers questions on the future of the multistakeholder approach and the role of ICANN
10:40AM Feb 24

Project Blog

Security concerns in MIKEY-SAKKE 2017-02-07 - The MIKEY-SAKKE (Multimedia Internet KEYing – Sakai Kasahara Key Exchange) protocol was designed by the then known as the Information Security arm of UK’s GCHQ, CESG (now National Cyber Security...
Battery Status API 2016-11-27 - On 7th July 2016, the W3C’s Device and Sensors Working Group returned the specification of the Battery Status API, previously published as a Proposed Recommendation in March 2016, to the status of...
Net neutrality activism in the EU 2016-10-03 - On 30 August 2016, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) published its guidelines for the implementation of the EU net neutrality Regulation by the national regulatory agencies...


First Project Workshop 2017 The project team is excited to announce that it will hold its first project workshop in Brussels on the... More detail
QCA Project Workshop On 18-19 April 2016, Professor Claudius Wagemann provided the project team with an intensive two day... More detail
Project Panel on global activism in internet governance The project members held a panel at the Political Studies Association (PSA) Annual Conference on... More detail
Annual Privacy Forum 2016 In the light of the upcoming data protection regulation and the European digital agenda, DG CONNECT,... More detail
Gikii London 2016 The Gikii 2016 Conference will take place in London on 30 September. The event will be held at the Notre... More detail

Research Team