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Governing Global Electronic NetworksInternational Perspectives on Policy and Power$
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William J. Drake and Ernest J. Wilson III

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262042512

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262042512.001.0001

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Spectators or Players? Participation in ICANN by the “Rest of the World”

Spectators or Players? Participation in ICANN by the “Rest of the World”

(p.507) 14 Spectators or Players? Participation in ICANN by the “Rest of the World”
Governing Global Electronic Networks

Milton Mueller

Jisuk Woo

The MIT Press

Established in 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a private corporation that illustrates how the Internet and electronic commerce are giving rise to new forms of global governance. ICANN regulates the assignment of domain names and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses used to identify and interconnect Internet users. This chapter examines issues of power, institutions, and participation in the context of ICANN. It looks at South Korea’s involvement in ICANN and shows how the organization has been dominated by Western countries (led by the United States) and transnational firms (such as intellectual property interests) at the expense of the developing countries and transitional economies, dubbed the “rest of the world” (ROW). The agenda and demands of ROW participants from civil society tend to be in conflict with the agenda of their own governments and exceed those in intergovernmental organizations. The chapter recommends a series of changes to ICANN in order to enhance the ROW’s effectiveness in terms of participation.

Keywords:   global governance, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Internet, electronic commerce, South Korea, United States, rest of the world, civil society, developing countries, transitional economies

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