Research event

Brokers or breakers? Emerging powers in global internet governance

A presentation by Daniëlle Flonk (Hertie School). This event is part of the Digital Governance Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for Digital Governance and the Data Science LabPrior registration is not required.

I explain the role of emerging powers as digital deciders in global internet governance debates. Emerging powers such as India, Brazil, and South Africa contest the existing internet governance system to bring about change. They are a group of countries that remain largely undecided in global internet governance debates, while at the same time possessing the capacity to influence these debates. I explain their behavior based on three arguments. First, although they protect liberal norms as democracies, they do not actively promote them. Second, due to institutional inequalities, they push for a shift towards UN decision-making frameworks. Third, due to the private nature of internet governance institutions, emerging powers try to pull decision making towards more formalized institutions. Digital deciders engage in a careful balancing act between having an open internet and equal governance structures in order to shape the global internet governance landscape.

Daniëlle Flonk is a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School for Global and Transregional Studies and a research associate in the research project 'Evolving Internet interfaces: Content control and privacy protection'. She holds a Bachelor in Political Science and a Master (with distinction) in International Relations from Radboud University in the Netherlands. She wrote her master's thesis on voting behaviour within the United Nations Security Council, which was shortlisted for the Daniël Heinsius Thesis Prize 2016 (the prize for the best Political Science Master's thesis of The Netherlands and Flanders). After her graduation, she worked at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels and as a lecturer at the political science department at Radboud University in the Netherlands. Her research interests include international relations, Internet governance, norm development and international regimes.