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New project to lift the lid on internet governance at the international level

Alison Harcourt has been awarded £462,921 by the ESRC for a new project on International professional fora: a study of civil society organisation participation in internet governance which will run from September 2015 to August 2018.

Global activism from civil society groups has long been observed in internet governance, particularly vis-à-vis international organisations such as the WSIS and the ITU. The project is innovative as it will analyse interaction between civil society groups and industry professionals within self-regulatory professional fora with no state involvement. It will investigate in whether civil society participation in such fora is able to defend and promote citizen rights. Rather than seeing the relationship as solely adversarial, the project examines the move towards active inclusion of civil society groups within policy making at the international level. Key developments in this respect are a commitment to multistakeholder governance by technical standard bodies such as the IETF, ISOC, IAB, W3C, and IEEE in 2012 and the establishment of a Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) by the European Commission in 2013.

Over a period of three years, the project team will lift the lid on internet governance 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.

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