Here we examine the effects of the internet in view on intervention and particularly the legitimation dimension of the state. We start with the net as an almost entirely denationalized medium characterized by a completely de-territorialized access.
Seen from a functional perspective, nation-state regulations of the net are inadequate. This high degree of denationalization is fundamentally at odds with the dominant regulation model of the Democratic Constitutional Interventionist State (DCIS). In this area a transformation of the state would take on the form of transferring regulatory power to the supra-national level and, possibly simultaneously, of transforming the mode of intervention. The innovative technical character of the net and the high level of denationalization of access at the same time stimulate novel forms of political participation in 'net policy' which are out of sync with the conventional models of participation in the DCIS.
The empirical core of the project is the analyses of political processes in three regulatory areas, all specifically related to the internet: the administration of domain names, the protection of personal data, and the taxation of e-commerce.
- We first ask descriptively whether in these areas effective regulatory arrangements apply beyond the nation state and how they do so. Besides, the specific mix of internationalization and privatization and the participatory elements utilized are of particular interest.
- In a further, second, step we deal normatively with the emergence and the form of these regulatory arrangements; they are measured against a catalogue of criteria relevant for democratic legitimation.
- Finally and thirdly, we ask, if and how the internet – in view of the results of our studies – can be used as a model for strengthening democratic legitimation in other denationalized regulatory arenas.
Final report in German
Project application 2003-2006 in German