Milton L. Mueller

Milton L. Mueller is Professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. He is the author of Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2002) and other books.

  • Networks and States

    Networks and States

    The Global Politics of Internet Governance

    Milton L. Mueller

    How institutions for Internet governance are emerging from the tension between the territorially bound nation-state and a transnational network society.

    When the prevailing system of governing divides the planet into mutually exclusive territorial monopolies of force, what institutions can govern the Internet, with its transnational scope, boundless scale, and distributed control? Given filtering/censorship by states and concerns over national cybersecurity, it is often assumed that the Internet will inevitably be subordinated to the traditional system of nation-states. In Networks and States, Milton Mueller counters this, showing how Internet governance poses novel and fascinating governance issues that give rise to a global politics and new transnational institutions. Drawing on theories of networked governance, Mueller provides a broad overview of Internet governance from the formation of ICANN to the clash at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the formation of the Internet Governance Forum, the global assault on peer-to-peer file sharing, and the rise of national-level Internet control and security concerns.

    Internet governance has become a source of conflict in international relations. Networks and States explores the important role that emerging transnational institutions could play in fostering global governance of communication-information policy.

    • Hardcover $39.00 £26.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Ruling the Root

    Ruling the Root

    Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace

    Milton L. Mueller

    In Ruling the Root, Milton Mueller uses the theoretical framework of institutional economics to analyze the global policy and governance problems created by the assignment of Internet domain names and addresses. "The root" is the top of the domain name hierarchy and the Internet address space. It is the only point of centralized control in what is otherwise a distributed and voluntaristic network of networks. Both domain names and IP numbers are valuable resources, and their assignment on a coordinated basis is essential to the technical operation of the Internet. Mueller explains how control of the root is being leveraged to control the Internet itself in such key areas as trademark and copyright protection, surveillance of users, content regulation, and regulation of the domain name supply industry.

    Control of the root originally resided in an informally organized technical elite comprised mostly of American computer scientists. As the Internet became commercialized and domain name registration became a profitable business, a six-year struggle over property rights and the control of the root broke out among Internet technologists, business and intellectual property interests, international organizations, national governments, and advocates of individual rights. By the late 1990s, it was apparent that only a new international institution could resolve conflicts among the factions in the domain name wars. Mueller recounts the fascinating process that led to the formation of a new international regime around ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. In the process, he shows how the vaunted freedom and openness of the Internet is being diminished by the institutionalization of the root.

    • Hardcover $38.00 £26.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00

Contributor

  • Access Contested

    Access Contested

    Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace

    Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and Jonathan Zittrain

    Experts examine censorship, surveillance, and resistance across Asia, from China and India to Malaysia and the Philippines.

    A daily battle for rights and freedoms in cyberspace is being waged in Asia. At the epicenter of this contest is China—home to the world's largest Internet population and what is perhaps the world's most advanced Internet censorship and surveillance regime in cyberspace. Resistance to China's Internet controls comes from both grassroots activists and corporate giants such as Google. Meanwhile, similar struggles play out across the rest of the region, from India and Singapore to Thailand and Burma, although each national dynamic is unique. Access Contested, the third volume from the OpenNet Initiative (a collaborative partnership of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and the SecDev Group in Ottawa), examines the interplay of national security, social and ethnic identity, and resistance in Asian cyberspace, offering in-depth accounts of national struggles against Internet controls as well as updated country reports by ONI researchers.

    The contributors examine such topics as Internet censorship in Thailand, the Malaysian blogosphere, surveillance and censorship around gender and sexuality in Malaysia, Internet governance in China, corporate social responsibility and freedom of expression in South Korea and India, cyber attacks on independent Burmese media, and distributed-denial-of-service attacks and other digital control measures across Asia.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $19.75 £14.99
  • Opening Standards

    Opening Standards

    The Global Politics of Interoperability

    Laura DeNardis

    The economic and political stakes in the current heated debates over “openness” and open standards in the Internet's architecture.

    Openness is not a given on the Internet. Technical standards—the underlying architecture that enables interoperability among hardware and software from different manufacturers—increasingly control individual freedom and the pace of innovation in technology markets. Heated battles rage over the very definition of “openness” and what constitutes an open standard in information and communication technologies. In Opening Standards, experts from industry, academia, and public policy explore just what is at stake in these controversies, considering both economic and political implications of open standards. The book examines the effect of open standards on innovation, on the relationship between interoperability and public policy (and if government has a responsibility to promote open standards), and on intellectual property rights in standardization—an issue at the heart of current global controversies. Finally, Opening Standards recommends a framework for defining openness in twenty-first-century information infrastructures.

    Contributors discuss such topics as how to reflect the public interest in the private standards-setting process; why open standards have a beneficial effect on competition and Internet freedom; the effects of intellectual property rights on standards openness; and how to define standard, open standard, and software interoperability.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £6.99
  • Governing Global Electronic Networks

    Governing Global Electronic Networks

    International Perspectives on Policy and Power

    William J. Drake and Ernest J. Wilson, III

    Experts analyze the global governance of electronic networks, emphasizing international power dynamics and the concerns of nondominant actors.

    The burgeoning use and transformative impact of global electronic networks are widely recognized to be defining features of contemporary world affairs. Less often noted has been the increasing importance of global governance arrangements in managing the many issues raised in such networks. This volume helps fill the gap by assessing some of the key international institutions pertaining to global telecommunications regulation and standardization, radio frequency spectrum, satellite systems, trade in services, electronic commerce, intellectual property, traditional mass media and Internet content, Internet names and numbers, cybercrime, privacy protection, and development. Eschewing technocratic approaches, the contributors offer empirically rich studies of the international power dynamics shaping these institutions. They devote particular attention to the roles and concerns of nondominant stakeholders, such as developing countries and civil society, and find that global governance often reinforces wider power disparities between and within nation-states. But at the same time, the contributors note, governance arrangements often provide nondominant stakeholders with the policy space needed to advance their interests more effectively. Each chapter concludes with a set of policy recommendations for the promotion of an open, dynamic, and more equitable networld order.

    Contributors Peng Hwa Ang, Jonathan D. Aronson, Byung-il Choi, Tracy Cohen, Peter F. Cowhey, William J. Drake, Henry Farrell, Rob Frieden, Alison Gillwald, Boutheina Guermazi, Cees J. Hamelink, Ian Hosein, Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, Don MacLean, Christopher May, Milton Mueller, John Richards, David Souter, Ernest Wilson III, Jisuk Woo

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99