India and Issues in Global Governance with Reference to Internet Governance

Published date01 January 2014
DOI10.1177/0020881717710400
AuthorC.S.R. Murthy
Date01 January 2014
Subject MatterArticles
India and Issues in Global
Governance with Reference
to Internet Governance
C.S.R. Murthy1
Abstract
The unique characteristics of the Internet—its openness, its global interconnect-
edness, its decentralized nature and the interrelationships among the layers that
comprise it—have made it remarkably resistant to traditional tools of state gov-
ernance. India is among such state actors which prefer a model of governance in
which national governments serve as essential gatekeepers to global institutions,
and Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) remain the key venue for nego-
tiations on complex problems like Internet. However, the role of international
organizations, considered so far as settled sites of global governance, is faced
with the task of navigating through a range of competing interests, namely
governmental sensitivities regarding security and sovereignty, the commercial
interests of private corporations (like the US-based ICANN) as also the concerns
of civil society and user groups across the world. The 2005 World Summit on
the Information Society witnessed a divisive debate about appropriate models—
some privileging the place of intergovernmental bodies, while others promot-
ing the role of non-governmental stakeholders—for regulating the Internet and
the domain names system. Notwithstanding inconsistencies, India joined other
emerging countries both in 2011 and 2014 negotiations to support creation of a
suitable mechanism within the UN system. At the latter event in Sao Paulo, India
outlined its detailed considerations for creating an intergovernmental body that
would be committed to both the primacy of state sovereignty and to developing
the capacities of the disadvantaged developing countries. The Western critics,
nevertheless, have found it paradoxical that despite being a democratic and open
society, India prefers government-led multilateral, rather than multi-stakeholder,
approach to Internet governance.
Article
International Studies
51(1–4) 1–15
2017 Jawaharlal Nehru University
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0020881717710400
http://isq.sagepub.com
1 Professor, International Organization, Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament,
School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
C.S.R. Murthy, Professor, International Organization, Centre for International Politics, Organization and
Disarmament, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India.
E-mail: csrmurthy@mail.jnu.ac.in

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