Internet Governance Regimes by Epistemic Community

Formation and Diffusion in Asia

In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
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  • 1 Yonsei University, Department of Political Science
  • 2 Chonbuk National University, School of International Studies

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Global Internet governance is unique in that it officially adopted a multi-stakeholder decision making procedure instead of a state-driven international cooperation modality. We focus on the role of the Internet epistemic community in Asia, which can explain the emergence of the current norms of Internet coordination and the Internet governance structure. By sharing the most advanced knowledge from global discussions and by organizing regional cooperation platforms starting from the early 1980s, Asian Internet technical professionals created Internet coordination norms based on open contribution and led the stewardship from the early stage of Internet development in the region. Based on a review of historical documents on the early development of the Internet in Asia, we show that the Internet epistemic community in Asia has played a critical role in designing and managing the current formation of regional Internet governance regimes, as well as their working norms starting from the early stage of Internet development in the region.

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