Exploring Transnational Civil Society Participation in the Multistakeholder
Internet Governance Forum Using Computer Assisted Content Analysis
Derrick L. Cogburn
American University/Syracuse University
International conferences, such as the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS),
continue to play a critical role in the processes of global governance. They frequently provide
concrete opportunities for formal and informal negotiations around the principles, norms, values,
and decision-making procedures around which convergence is required in order for an
international regime to emerge (Krasner 1982). Historically, governments have dominated the
official “conference diplomacy” surrounding these meetings (Kaufmann, 1988; Gellman, 2000).
However, WSIS sparked a fundamental change in multistakeholder participation in global
governance processes, which continued into its two follow-on institutions, GAID and IGF. The
purpose of this paper is to explore the ways transnational civil society has been able to use
computer-mediated communication tools to participate in the Internet Governance Forum. It
uses data from public email archives and websites and a computer-assisted content analytic
approach to answer five descriptive research questions: (1) To what degree does the Internet
Governance Caucus, reflect the concept of a transnational advocacy network? (2) Why and how
did the IGC emerge? (3.) How does the IGC work? (4.) What are the policy objectives of the
IGC? (5.) What factors facilitate and/or inhibit the IGC from achieving its policy objectives?
This paper is prepared for presentation at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the APSA ITP Section,
This paper is a rough draft work in progress. Please do not quote or cite without permission.