During the last years and especially after the revelation of the existence and scope of NSA surveillance, public attention on the internet as a subject of political reflection and regulation has increased. Against this background, we would like to discuss fundamental questions of societal relations with the internet, in particular the intergovernmental and transnational regulation of the web, from different scientific perspectives.
Who governs the internet? Which rules and structures determine internet infrastructure and usage? Are national states incapable to regulate the virtual world? What is the role of international regimes and organizations, including NGOs, in the regulation of Cyberspace? How influential are transnational businesses? How does the actual usage of the web relate to structures and possibilities of internet regulation? What is the relationship between strategies of governance actors to define virtual identities and the individual self-determination of digital citizens?
For this purpose, a lecture series, funded by the Field of Focus 4 of Heidelberg University, will be held in the winter semester 2014/15. The format “Who governs the Internet? Interdisciplinary lecture series about regulatory structures and regulatory processes in Cyberspace” will feature excellent scholars and practitioners from Germany and abroad who will be invited to Heidelberg.