Background

In its final report the UN Working Group of Internet Governance (WGIG) recognized a lack of academic research and teaching on Internet Governance. There was no international academic organisation which had Internet Governance in its focus and no comprehensive teaching courses at master level where offered by established universities.

Academic members of the WGIG – who also contributed to the elaboration of the Internet Governance definition – took this as a challenge. They established a small ad hoc working group and prepared jointly together with the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and the International Communication Association (ICA), supported also by UNESCO, an expert meeting in Rathen/Germany in June 2006. The Rathen meeting discussed a number of recommendations which included, inter alia, the establishment of a Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GIGANET) and the launch of regional summer schools on Internet Governance.

GIGANET was formally established at the eve of the 1st Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in October 2006 in Athens. Since Athens, GIGANET has organized at each IGF an annual academic symposium and various regional expert meetings which have produced a broad body of research.

The first Internet Governance Summer School took place in Europe in Meissen in July 2007.

Background image by: Manfred Kloppert, Dresden