Lecture Series Jul 2019: Mauro Santaniello › view all

"Definitional Struggles and Discourse Coalitions in Internet Governance"

July 03, 2019 - tba
University of Bremen, UNICOM-Building 7, Conference Room (7.3280)
Mary-Somerville-Str. 7
28359 Bremen
Series: Social Sciences Lecture Series
Event type: public

Mauro Santaniello, Senior Researcher at the Department of Political, Social and Communication Sciences and Vice Director of the Internet & Communication Policy Centre at the University of Salerno (Italy) gives a talk on "Definitional Struggles and Discourse Coalitions in Internet Governance" in the Bremen Social Sciences Lecture Series.

The lecture takes place at at the University of Bremen, Unicom-Building 7, BIGSSS Conference Room 7.3280 on July 3, 2019 (time tba).



The more the Internet innervates contemporary societies, the more Internet Governance emerges as an important and controversial global policy domain. Notwithstanding the crucial relevance of the issues at stake within this domain, and the long-standing and multifaceted debate around them, there is still a total lack of consensus about how to define Internet Governance, and an ample margin of ambiguity regarding both the concept of governance and the technical "boundaries" of the Internet.

These definitional uncertainties and conceptual ambiguities are not due to the inability of scholars and policy-makers in grasping the essential contours of an emerging policy field, nor to the fast pace of technological innovations. Rather, they depend on the highly controversial nature of political dynamics and institutions involved into this relatively new power arena. Since the early 1990s, in fact, different actors have been producing different definitions, conceptualisations and narratives of Internet Governance, in order to mark off specific sets of legitimated issues, actors and fora. In other words, definitions and discourses have been strategically used as regulative resources by actors struggling for the governance of the Internet.

The lecture will address definitional struggles and discursive interactions in the global Internet governance from a constructivist perspective. Particularly, drawing upon Maarten Hajer's discourse coalition framework, the main controversies around Internet governance issues will be scrutinised as they unfolded through time. Further, some mapping exercises of discourse coalitions in specific fora will be presented, and the hypothesis about an ongoing decline of the “multistakeholderist” discursive order will be discussed.


About the Bremen Social Sciences Lecture Series:

Each semester BIGSSS, SOCIUM, InIIS and CRC 1342 invite a mix of established and young scholars to present their work to students and faculty as well as to the wider interested public. Taking place every month during the semester, the Bremen Social Sciences Lecture Series is the central meeting point for the research institutes and graduate school and provides an excellent opportunity for engaging in intensive, interdisciplinary, scholarly debate.