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Internet Governance (FGGA)


Admission requirements

This course is part of the ‘Cyber Security Governance Essentials’ minor.


What do we mean by Internet Governance? Governance of a globally interconnected network of networks, or governance of the applications and services that run over these global networks? No surprise, Internet Governance is a contested term surrounded by various technical and political debates related to its meaning. Until the mid-1990s internet governance focused mainly on technical standards setting but has developed significantly over the past two decades to encompass political, societal, economic and other dimensions. While no single organisation or international body influences, controls or governs the internet alone, issues of power and control related to internet governance are now prominent on the agendas of national governments and international organisations, private industry, academia and technical community. Internet created various private self-governing structures that both conflict and compete with traditional models of governance employed by nation states, raising the issue of legitimacy, enforcement and accountability.

This course will approach internet governance from various angles: from governance of the technical layer of the internet via multistakeholder bodies such as ICANN, which have developed their own complex global governance structures and processes, to the broader spectrum of processes pertaining to societal and economic dimensions of the internet. Starting with reflection on the debates surrounding the definition of internet governance, we will dive deeply into the evolution of internet governance, issues of power and control over critical internet resources, and decision-making processes. We will discuss different approaches to governance, such as multistakeholder and multilateral governance models, the way they manifest themselves in practice, and issues of transparency, accountability, and legitimacy of both models. The course will also explore the current challenges related to internet governance, such as debates around internet fragmentation and recent trends to regulate Internet companies and users’ online behaviour.

Course objectives

By the end of this course:

  • Students will be able to conceptualise the definition of internet governance, understand its narrow and broad meanings, reflect on the debates around this term, and understand the differences between terms “governments”, “governance”, and “regulation” in relation to internet governance.

  • Students will gain insights in the evolution of internet governance and political, economic, and societal factors influencing it.

  • Students will be able to reflect on debates surrounding multistakeholder and multilateral Internet governance models, the conflicts between the two models and issues related to the functioning of the models, such as legitimacy, inclusiveness, enforcement, and others.

  • Students will obtain significant knowledge about the processes of standard-setting and policy-making on the technical layer of the internet governance with a particular focus on the governance of the Domain Names System (DNS) and ICANN as an example of the multistakeholder model of governance.

  • Students will gain knowledge on internet governance-related issues and processes from a broader societal and economic perspective.

  • Students will get acquainted with new challenges related to internet governance such as internet fragmentation, tensions between different governance models, current calls to regulate internet, and others.

  • Students will be able to participate in debates related to internet governance issues and evaluate policies and initiatives in this field.


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

7 lectures of 3 hours.
Participation is mandatory.

Course Load

The total study load for this course is 168 hours, consisting of:

  • lectures attendance: 21 hours

  • self-study hours: self-study, assessments and examination: 147 hours

Assessment method

Individual assignment
30 % of final grade
*Grade must be compensated
*resit not possible
Final exam
70 % of final grade
*Grade must be 5.50 or higher to pass the course
*Resit of a fail is possible.
*Resit will take the same form

The calculated final grade must be at least 5.50 to pass the course.


The corresponding Brightspace course will become available prior to the start of the course.

Reading list

A selection of books and articles, to be announced on Brightspace.


To be announced by OSC staff.


Dr. Tatiana Tropina


This course takes place in The Hague.
All sessions will be in English.
all assignments and exams need to be written in English.