Internet Governance: Constructing Normative Structures Inside and Outside Intermediary Organisations

Internet Governance: Constructing Normative Structures Inside and Outside Intermediary Organisations

Online Intermediaries are central organisations of the “communicative figuration“ of internet governance. Within the framework “Transforming Communications“, this project aims to examine how normative structures are constructed inside and outside online intermediaries under the circumstances of increasing mediatisation. Thus, the goal of the study is to gain an insight into the intertwined phases of the setting, application and implementation of norms. In two case studies, entries in search engines with personal connections as well as the automatic evaluation of entries on rating platforms will be analysed in order to gather knowledge regarding the actors and communicative practices of internet governance.

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Project Description

The extended perspective of the governance approach of regulatory science includes a complex network of normative structures that is constructed by different factors, such as law, contracts, technological code and social norms, and by a variety of individual and corporative actors. This realignment leads to new research questions: How do normative structures construct themselves under the circumstances of increasing mediatisation? What correlations exist regarding the changing media environment? To answer these questions, we will conduct two case studies. On the one hand, we will analyse search engine entries; on the other hand, we will look at automatic evaluations of rating platforms. Our goal is to shed light upon the actors and communicative practices of the figuration of internet governance as such, but also upon the communicative figurations within organisations.

Project Information


Duration: 2013-2019

Research programme:
RP2 - Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Digital Communication

Involved persons

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang SchulzTobias Mast

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz
Director (Chairperson)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 0
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77




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