The role of non-state actors and institutions in the governance of new and emerging digital technologies

Leiser, Mark and Murray, Andrew; Brownsword, Roger and Scotford, Eloise and Yeung, Karen, eds. (2017) The role of non-state actors and institutions in the governance of new and emerging digital technologies. In: The Oxford Handbook on the Law and Regulation of Technology. Oxford University Press, Osford, pp. 670-703. ISBN 9780199680832 (

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New and emergent digital technologies pose particular problems for regulators. The utility of these technologies is maximised by linking them to the Internet. Internet technology though does not respect the borders of nation states. As a result the traditional legitimacy of the Westphalian state to regulate activity within its jurisdictional borders is undermined. This has led to the development of a number of competing cyber-regulatory models that attempt to bridge the gap between traditional Westphalian governance and the new reality of the global digital space. Many of these, although not all, fit within post-Westphalian literature. Some, drawing from globalisation and post-Westphalian models, seek to identify and deploy key governance nodes. Such models identify roles for non-state actors, private corporations and supranational governance institutions. The unhappy relationship between old-world, Westphalian legal governance and new-world post-Westphalian governance is an area of continuing conflict and is the backdrop to this chapter which identifies and discusses a number of case studies in digital governance.