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How to align the Internet infrastructures with human rights? Supervisors: Stefania Milan and Marlies Glasius

Detail Summary
Date 28 October 2020
Time 14:00


On October 30th at 14:00, Niels ten Oever will defend his dissertation titled 'Wired Norms: Inscription, resistance, and subversion in the governance of the Internet infrastructure'. In his dissertation Niels analyzes the governance of the Internet infrastructure and the role norms play in it. While the governance of earlier information networks, such as the telephone and the telegraph, was done by nation states, the Internet is governed in so-called private multistakeholder bodies. This research analyzes how social and legal norms evolve, are introduced, subverted, and resisted by participants in Internet governance processes in order to develop policies, technologies, and standards to produce an interconnected Internet. The research leverages notions and insights from science and technology studies and international relations and combines quantitative and qualitative methods to show that the private multistakeholder Internet governance regime is designed and optimized for the narrow and limited role of increasing interconnection. As a result, the governance regime resists aligning Internet infrastructure with social or legal norms that might limit or hamper increasing interconnection.

The defense will be streamed online on October 30th at 14:00 - you can find the URL by then on Niels' twitter account: - you can find his PhD dissertation and his other writings on his website: