The Power of Networks

The Power of Networks

Organizing the Global Politics of the Internet

Mikkel Flyverbom

With an ever-growing number of users, the Internet is central to the processes of globalization, cultural formations, social encounters and economic development. These aside, it is also fast becoming an important political domain. Struggles over disclosure, access and regulation are only the most visible signs that the Internet is quickly becoming a site of fierce political conflict involving states, technical groups, business and civil society. As the debate over the global politics of the Internet intensifies, this book will be a valuable guide for anyone seeking to understand the emergence, organization and shape of this new issue.

Conclusion: The Power of Networks

Mikkel Flyverbom

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, innovation and technology, organisational innovation, technology and ict, politics and public policy, international politics


Hybrid forums are attractive and increasingly accepted ways of addressing emergent issues and controversies in global politics because they bring together the multiple actors involved in or affected by governance activities in a given domain. Operating at the margins of formal politics and intergovernmental institutions, such organizational arrangements open up new sites of contestation, unsettle boundaries between the technical and the political, and forge links across social worlds. Although multi-stakeholder processes hold a number of promises, we still know little about their inner workings and effects in global politics. This book has captured how hybrid forums are used to reduce the increasingly visible gap between national politics and global problems (Bauman 1999; Benner, Reinicke et al. 2002). They constitute innovative spaces for dialogue, participation and collaboration without consensus, and contribute to the emergence of novel forms of policymaking and governance beyond the nation-state (Held 1995; Risse 2000; Castells 2008). But hybrid forums also have more mundane effects. To capture these, this book has explored the entanglement of hybrid forums and the global politics of the digital revolution under the auspices of the UN. Following assemblages as they have been stabilized in five different moments of translation the analyses have contributed to our understanding of the practical and often painstaking ways in which orderings are crafted, how they start to travel and circulate, and how they act on the world. While hybrid forums do not change policies, priorities or governance arrangements in any direct manner they do provide new avenues for...

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