Internet governance and global self regulation: theoretical and empirical building blocks for a general theory of self regulation

C. Vey Mestdagh, R. Rijgersberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The following exposition sets out to identify the basic theoretical and empirical building
blocks for a general theory of self-regulation. It uses the Internet as an empirical basis since its global reach and technical characteristics create interdependencies between actors that transcend national boundaries and allow for non-governmental forms of regulation to emerge. The current wave of globalization increasingly creates global interdependencies that open avenues to new forms of self-regulation. A study of the Internet from this perspective provides us with the conceptual tools needed to interpret these developments and develop tools to direct regulatory policies more effectively.
The first part of this exposition provides the theoretical building blocks by analyzing the
concept of self-regulation. The second part provides empirical building blocks by analyzing the state of affairs of one of the most contested types of regulation on the Internet, its domain name system. The third part of the exposition integrates the findings of the first and second part of the inquiry and concludes by emphasizing the characteristics of the Internet and by accentuating the relevance of the Internet situation to the development of a general theory of self-regulation in a global context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-404
JournalThe Theory and Practice of Legislation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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