Milton Mueller discusses the ideas of his new book 'Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance' (MIT Press, 2010), analysing the often-conflicting relationship between the global internet and government by territorial nation-states.

Milton Mueller will discuss his new book, ‘Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance’ (MIT Press), a comprehensive analysis of the often-conflicting relationship between the global internet and government by territorial nation-states.

In opposition to those who argue that nation-states are subordinating the Internet to traditional forms of regulation, ‘Networks and States’ shows how the Internet is pioneering new forms of governmentality. It draws upon recent theories of networked governance and peer production and shows how they can be, and are being, applied to the Internet, often as substitutes for more traditional forms of law and regulation.

Whereas Mueller’s previous book, ‘Ruling the Root’, covered the origins of ICANN, ‘Networks and States’ covers the whole gamut of global Internet governance issues and policies: Internet domain names and IP addresses, copyright and trademark protection, cyber-security, and content regulation. The book also charts the historical evolution of global internet governance institutions, including the formation of a transnational policy network around the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The book constructs a normative argument for forms of internet governance that favor the transnational over the national; for networks over states.