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Book Launch: Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Information Society: Partners or Pawns?

  • School of International Service, American University 4400 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20016 United States (map)

Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges of Multistakeholder Global Governance

Book Launch Discussion and Reception:
Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Information Society: Partners or Pawns?

Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn
School of International Service, American University
Abramson Family Founders Room
Monday, March 20, 2017
4:30pm – 6:30pm

Institute on Disability and Public Policy at American University
Internet Governance Lab at American University
School of International Service at American University

Book Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Book Series: Information Technology and Global Governance

Event Recording:
Book Launch - Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Information Society:
Partners or Pawns?


With the transition in 2016 of the critical IANA functions from the United States government to the new multistakeholder arrangement housed under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the multiyear process to enable true global governance of the Internet has taken a major step forward. However, understanding the organizational forms that enable civil society and non-state actors to engage effectively in these processes remains elusive. What can we learn from the more than two decades of active civil society involvement in helping to shape the processes of global Internet governance? This book examines the role of transnational advocacy networks in enabling effective participation for individual citizens in the deliberative processes of global governance. Contextualized around the international conference setting of the United Nations-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 and 2005, the book sees epistemic communities and information and communication technologies (ICTs) as critical to the effectiveness of this important organizational form. Historically, governments have dominated the official “conference diplomacy” surrounding these World Summits. However, reflecting the UN General Assembly resolution authorizing WSIS, transnational civil society and private sector organizations were invited to participate as official partners in a multistakeholder dialogue at the summit alongside the more traditional governments and international organizations. This book asks: are transnational advocacy networks active in the global information society influential partners in these global governance processes, or merely symbolic tokens―or pawns? Cogburn explores the factors that enabled some networks―such as the Internet Governance Caucus―to persist and thrive, while others failed, and sees linkages with epistemic communities―such as the Global Internet Governance Academic Network―and ICTs as critical to network effectiveness.


4:30p.m. - Welcome: Dr. James Goldgeier, Dean, School of International Service
(1-2 minutes)

Opening Remarks from the AU Internet Governance Lab: Dr. Laura DeNardis, Professor and Associate Dean, School of Communication and Co-Director, Internet Governance Lab
(1-2 minutes)

Introduction of Ambassador Diana Lady Dougan: Dr. Nanette Levinson, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, School of International Service and Co-Director, Internet Governance Lab
(1-2 minutes)

Overview Remarks: Ambassador Diana Lady Dougan, Panel Chair, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Chairman, Cyber Century Forum; Former inaugural statutory U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy and Assistant Secretary of State, US Department of State
(7-8 minutes)

4:45p.m. - Keynote Address: Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, Author, Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Information Society: Partners or Pawns?; Associate Professor of International Communication and Development, School of International Service; Executive Director, Institute on Disability and Public Policy; Co-Director, Internet Governance Lab
(15 minutes)

5:00p.m. - Multistakeholder Responses:
(5 minutes each)

  • Ms. Fiona Alexander: Associate Administrator, Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, US Department of Commerce
  • Mr. Andrea Glorioso, Digital Economy and Cyber Counselor, Delegation of the European Union to the US
  • Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of State
  • Mr. Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
  • Mr. Mike Nelson, Public Policy, CloudFlare and Affiliate Adjunct Faculty, Communication, Culture, and Technology Program, Georgetown University

5:30p.m. - Question & Answer / Discussion
(30 minutes)

6:00p.m. - Reception and Dinner (Light Buffet)
Abramson Family Founders Room, School of International Service, American University