Moving Forward: Fragmentation, Polarization and Hybridity in Cyberspace | Online Conference | 10-12 November 2020
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Panel 1

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Unsettling the grand-narratives of cyberspace

Giovanni De Gregorio

Giovanni De Gregorio (@G_De_Gregorio) is PhD Candidate in Constitutional and Public Law at University of Milano-Bicocca and Academic Fellow at Bocconi University. His research focuses on digital constitutionalism at the intersection between constitutional law and technologies. He has been a visiting PhD student at theOxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford working with the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy. He has also been visiting fellow at Centre for Cyber Law and Policy at the University of Haifa. His research field includes Constitutional law, Internet law, Privacy and Data Protection law. 

Roxana Radu

Roxana Radu (@r0xanaradu) is a postdoctoral research fellow at theGTGLab and a Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Centre forSocio-Legal Studies, working on Internet regulation, algorithms and knowledge production in the public sphere. Until May 2018, she was Programme Manager at the Geneva Internet Platform, a dialogue and capacity building centre forInternet governance and digital policy and was chairing the non-for-profitInternet Society-Switzerland. Roxana is the author of Negotiating Internet Governance (Oxford University Press 2019) and holds a PhD in International Relations/Political Science from the GraduateInstitute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland). Her interdisciplinary research and publications focus on international governance and global Internet policy-making.

Abstract

Keynote

The New Era of Internet Governance: Fragmentation, Polarisation and Hybridity

The Internet, as we know it today, will likely change face in the next decade. The rampant evolution of new technologies, powered by 5G connectivity and AI technologies, alters the current status of the Internet infrastructure in unprecedented ways. This paper argues that a shift in the governance of the Internet towards integrating non-Western standards would lead to a process of accelerated fragmentation, polarisation and hybridisation. As we move to govern digital spaces at the crossroads between democracy and authoritarianism, changing the global paradigm at the basis of network functioning opens up a new research agenda. This work provides a comprehensive analysis of infrastructure-driven changes in Internet governance and their implications from a global perspective. Our study shows how centralisation and fragmentation in the governance of multiple Internets affects not only the internet architecture itself, but also the relationship between State actors and the current model of protecting human rights and democratic values globally.