Internet Governance and Economics

Michael Kende

IA094 | Autumn | 3 ECTS

The impact of the Internet is growing in breadth and depth, fostering innovative new companies, transforming traditional industries, reshaping government interactions, and increasing opportunities for social inclusion. At the same time, there is increasing friction between free services and privacy, data protection and security, automation and jobs, sharing and copyright enforcement, freedom of expression and content regulation, sovereignty and globalisation. Yet, no one entity is responsible for ownership, development, or regulation of the Internet, with the ability to govern or regulate the outcomes of these conflicting forces.

The course will introduce a number of unique aspects about Internet economics and governance. The Internet challenges existing models of economic behaviour and markets, with an important impact on policy. The development of Internet standards also has a unique model that differs from standard-setting in other sectors. Finally, the course will focus on the multi-stakeholder model that governs the Internet, and how the different stakeholders impact the outcome of critical policy questions. To better understand the forces shaping the Internet, we will examine a number of current international challenges including the role of the Internet in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, how to understand privacy issues and increased cybersecurity threats, and the concerns over growing market power in the industry.