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High-Level Policy Dialogue | The Governance of Digital Networks: Convergence or Fragmentation

Dates:
  • Mon 25 Nov 2019 09.00 - 19.00
  • Tue 26 Nov 2019 09.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-11-25 9:00 2019-11-26 19:00 Europe/Paris High-Level Policy Dialogue | The Governance of Digital Networks: Convergence or Fragmentation

The challenge to multilateralism and global governance can in large part be traced to the broader economic and societal transformation taking place as the result of the combined impact of globalisation and pervasive technological change. In turn, these are largely driven by the nature of what is perhaps the fastest growing resource ever known, the internet. Digital governance however is far removed from the traditional approaches to global governance as implemented in areas such as trade, finance or even climate. It has not been designed through multilateral institutions; it has evolved instead as a decentralised regulatory environment and shaped by a myriad of public and private organisations.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of global oligopolies whose initiatives have reshaped an integrated and competitive global landscape. There is simultaneously an increasing assertiveness of some state powers to respond to issues of public order, national security and privacy. However, the response of certain governments has raised democracy and security concerns, to an extent that threatens to curtail the exchange of data and segment the global network along national or regional lines by creating digital borders rather than finding common solutions to problems which are inherently transnational.

This uncertain and rapidly evolving environment raises a number of academic and policy issues, such as coordination and control in the presence of externalities; extensive and multifaceted international equity issues regarding equal and non-discriminatory access; and even intertemporal issues, brought about by the irreversibility and path dependency of outcomes in processes such as large data flows, privacy, or security. To these are added issues relating to the imposition of measures that have extraterritorial reach; some of these create conflict of jurisdictions for companies which are operating globally.

The question today is whether the current mostly decentralised and multi-stakeholder digital governance model continues to be adequate when confronted with twenty-first-century challenges regarding a wide range of issues, including security, privacy and more generally data sovereignty and concentration of data in the hands of a few private actors. As digital governance evolves and adapts to a new environment, a new balance is now sought which responds to demands for more regulation but maintains the internet’s basic institutional architecture.

Organised in collaboration with the Hertie School of Governance and the Oxford Internet Institute, the Policy Dialogue is part of the two-year research project on the Transformation of Global Governance. The event will be hosted at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin and bring together a small number of senior policymakers, recognised experts and key participants from industry and civil society. Attendance at the event is by invitation only and takes place under the Chatham House rule.

No Room DD/MM/YYYY
  No Room

The challenge to multilateralism and global governance can in large part be traced to the broader economic and societal transformation taking place as the result of the combined impact of globalisation and pervasive technological change. In turn, these are largely driven by the nature of what is perhaps the fastest growing resource ever known, the internet. Digital governance however is far removed from the traditional approaches to global governance as implemented in areas such as trade, finance or even climate. It has not been designed through multilateral institutions; it has evolved instead as a decentralised regulatory environment and shaped by a myriad of public and private organisations.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of global oligopolies whose initiatives have reshaped an integrated and competitive global landscape. There is simultaneously an increasing assertiveness of some state powers to respond to issues of public order, national security and privacy. However, the response of certain governments has raised democracy and security concerns, to an extent that threatens to curtail the exchange of data and segment the global network along national or regional lines by creating digital borders rather than finding common solutions to problems which are inherently transnational.

This uncertain and rapidly evolving environment raises a number of academic and policy issues, such as coordination and control in the presence of externalities; extensive and multifaceted international equity issues regarding equal and non-discriminatory access; and even intertemporal issues, brought about by the irreversibility and path dependency of outcomes in processes such as large data flows, privacy, or security. To these are added issues relating to the imposition of measures that have extraterritorial reach; some of these create conflict of jurisdictions for companies which are operating globally.

The question today is whether the current mostly decentralised and multi-stakeholder digital governance model continues to be adequate when confronted with twenty-first-century challenges regarding a wide range of issues, including security, privacy and more generally data sovereignty and concentration of data in the hands of a few private actors. As digital governance evolves and adapts to a new environment, a new balance is now sought which responds to demands for more regulation but maintains the internet’s basic institutional architecture.

Organised in collaboration with the Hertie School of Governance and the Oxford Internet Institute, the Policy Dialogue is part of the two-year research project on the Transformation of Global Governance. The event will be hosted at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin and bring together a small number of senior policymakers, recognised experts and key participants from industry and civil society. Attendance at the event is by invitation only and takes place under the Chatham House rule.


Location:
No Room

Affiliation:
School of Transnational Governance

Type:
Special event

Contact:
Fiona Wong (EUI) - Send a mail

Links:
The Transformation of Global Governance Project
 
 
 

Page last updated on 18 August 2017