Giovanni De Gregorio, Roxana Radu

Digital constitutionalism in the new era of Internet governance


Digital technologies are profoundly intertwined with constitutionalism. They are not only a sum of material and immaterial architecture, but also provide infrastructures to exercise freedoms and powers. Even if digital technologies are likely to remain the key driver of global transformations in the next decades, the current evolution of Internet governance promises to affect this relationship. This article argues that Internet governance is evolving towards fragmentation, polarization and hybridization. These trends do not only concern the governance of the technical infrastructure. They also contribute to reshaping the architecture of freedom and power in the digital environment, giving impetus to a new role for constitutionalism in the digital age. Therefore, the primary question is how far does the evolution of Internet governance leads towards a new constitutional paradigm in the digital age? As digital spaces are governed at the crossroads of a new phase, these trends question the global paradigm at the basis of the Internet, thus opening a new research agenda. By examining the challenges raised by fragmentation, polarization and hybridization in the governance of digital technologies, this work examines emerging challenges to constitutional models protecting rights and limiting powers on a global scale.

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