New Interactive Map Visualizes Swing States in the Global Internet Governance Debate

OTI Releases New Resource Ahead of 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference
Blog Post
Oct. 20, 2014

As the 2014 International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference begins today in Busan, South Korea, New America’s Open Technology Institute is pleased to release a new interactive map to help visualize the role of swing states in the global Internet governance debate.

This new resource is based on the results of a May 2014 study authored by OTI’s Tim Maurer and Robert Morgus and published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) which identifies a core group of 30 potential swing states based on their voting behavior at the ITU’s 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), their various memberships in international organizations such as the European Union and the Freedom Online Coalition, and a range of relevant indicators. These swing states will likely play an increasingly critical role in global Internet governance conversations going forward, as the debate continues between countries that seek to preserve the current "multistakeholder" model — in which government, corporate, and civil society voices can participate on relatively equal footing — and those that prefer a government-dominated multilateral process, whether through the ITU or other avenues.

In addition to the map, we provide background information on the fault lines that emerged at the 2012 WCIT and how this impacts the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference, which is the ITU’s quadrennial meeting to set the policy goals and direction of the agency for the next four years. The purpose of this resource is to provide valuable context to observers as the ITU Member States begin three weeks of on-the-ground negotiation about the role of the ITU in Internet public policy decisions and hold elections for key leadership roles within the Union.

Find the full interactive resource, Visualizing the Role of Swing States in the Global Internet Governance Debate, here. For the full report from the Centre for International Governance Innovation, see Tipping the Scale: An Analysis of Global Swing States in the Internet Governance Debate. OTI will also be providing additional resources and analysis throughout the ITU Plenipotentiary conference.