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The Power of Networks

Organizing the Global Politics of the Internet Mikkel Flyverbom, Associate Professor, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
With an ever-growing number of users, the Internet is central to the processes of globalization, cultural formations, social encounters and economic development. These aside, it is also fast becoming an important political domain. Struggles over disclosure, access and regulation are only the most visible signs that the Internet is quickly becoming a site of fierce political conflict involving states, technical groups, business and civil society. As the debate over the global politics of the Internet intensifies, this book will be a valuable guide for anyone seeking to understand the emergence, organization and shape of this new issue.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84980 422 6
Availability: In Stock
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With an ever-growing number of users, the Internet is central to the processes of globalization, cultural formations, social encounters and economic development. These aside, it is also fast becoming an important political domain. Struggles over disclosure, access and regulation are only the most visible signs that the Internet is quickly becoming a site of fierce political conflict involving states, technical groups, business and civil society. As the debate over the global politics of the Internet intensifies, this book will be a valuable guide for anyone seeking to understand the emergence, organization and shape of this new issue.

In this vivid study, Mikkel Flyverbom captures how questions about the digital divide and the information revolution, dialogues with stakeholders, and networked forms of organization have become key features of the global politics of the Internet. Tracing the making and stabilization of this transnational issue in and around the United Nations over almost a decade, this book demonstrates how multi-stakeholder networks make new political domains accessible and unsettle established ways of organizing transnational governance. The Power of Networks offers a rich account of the practices and effects of organizing global politics and governance through dialogues and collaborations between governments, business and societies the world over.

Offering a novel analytical vocabulary for the study of ordering, governance and organization, this innovative ethnographic study of hybrid organizations and entangled forms of power in global politics shows how insights from actor-network theory and the Foucauldian governmentality literature can reinvigorate studies of transnational governance and organizational processes.
‘Mikkel Flyverbom’s The Power of Networks provides a fascinating ethnographic study of how a UN-based, multistakeholder mode evolved and attempted to shape the global politics of the digital revolution. . . he discusses the subjects involved, the organizational techniques used, the efforts to shape the objects of ordering, and the rationales underlining the practices in the arrangement. His study is packed with insights and vivid first-hand observations from insiders at the forums. For readers who are curious about how the UN-based multi-stakeholder mode was formed, how it operates, and how it attempts to shape the digital revolution, The Power of Networks is an enlightening read which provides an abundance of related information.’
– Yang Bai, International Journal of Communication

‘Mikkel Flyverbom’s The Power of Networks is a timely and important contribution to the emerging interdisciplinary study of cyberspace politics. In an exceptionally well-written and researched book, Flyverbom employs a form of ethnographic method to uncover the grounded practices that inform the many “hybrid forums” and “entangled authorities” of Internet governance. The book will be of interest to those who want a deeper understanding of the complexity and nuance of the many social forces shaping global cyberspace today.’
– Ronald J. Deibert, University of Toronto, Canada

‘Flyverbom presents an original ethnography of the political ordering processes of the digital revolution. He lays bare the relational practices within hybrid global forums in which multiple actors are mobilized to participate, contest, and dialogue. The book makes an important contribution to emergent global politics governing technologies, networks, meanings, and people within the United Nations system.’
– J.P. Singh, Georgetown University, US
Contents: Introduction: Hybrid Networks and Political Domains 1. Governance and Organization as Ordering 2. Problematizing the Digital Revolution 3. Engaging Social Worlds as Stakeholders 4. Organizing Hybrid Forums 5. Shaping the Global Politics of the Digital Revolution 6. Displacement as Ordering Conclusion: The Power of Networks References Index