IGF 2022 WS #66 Reassessing Government Role in IG: How to embrace Leviathan

Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (13:15 UTC) - Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (14:15 UTC)
Large Briefing Room

Organizer 1: Bu Bu Zhong, Pennsylvania State University

Organizer 2: Xingdong FANG, College of Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University

Speaker 1: Milton Mueller, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 2: Jovan Kurbalija, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 3: Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers

Anriette Esterhuysen, civil society, Association for Progressive Communications

Bu Zhong, Civil Society, Hong Kong Baptist University 


Xianhong Hu, Intergovernmental Organisation, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Bu Bu Zhong, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Xingdong FANG, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Inclusion, rights, and stakeholder roles and responsibilities. What are/should be the responsibilities of governments concerning Internet governance and respect for human rights, and what is needed for them to fulfill these in an efficient and effective manner? What are the evidence-based solutions available for the governments to achieve the goals? Promoting equitable development and preventing harm. How can governments make use of digital technologies to promote more equitable and peaceful societies that are inclusive, resilient, and sustainable? How can we make sure that the governments help avoid digital technologies being developed and used for harmful purposes? What values and norms should guide the development and use of technologies to enable this?

Connection with previous Messages:



Targets: 1. Seeking common understanding. Rather than ignoring contentious conversations over the disagreement about the real challenges of Internet governance, the speakers will lay out mitigation strategies to unite people with a common understanding of the root of those challenges. Specific strategies will be presented and discussed to enable the governments to initiate new conversations for seeking common ground that focuses on what we value and share, rather than defining Internet governance in narrow terms. 2. Internet access as a human right. The governments must take urgent actions to help people reach shared understanding by initiating cooperative and productive conversations around disagreement without using personal truths as the baseline of the argument. Due to the governments' inaction, there is growing resistance and disinformation surrounding Internet governance. Thus, key intervention strategies will be presented at the workshop to improve the government’s role in building healthy Internet for everyone around the globe as access to the Internet is a human right. 3. Bringing in all the voices. To make Internet governance work, it is essential that decisions are not just made by one government or two. The governments can be of big help in getting people together for a shared sustainable and common future. When no one dominates Internet governance, we begin to develop a powerful mechanism for people to work together, in which people learn to earn the agreement of fellow stakeholders and thus achieve global commitment to make Internet governance work again.


Against the backdrop of the COVID-19, the US-China and European Internet antitrust, the US-China technology war, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, global Internet governance has entered a new phase in which governments are no longer just "one stakeholder" of "multi-stakeholder model", but has become the decisive and dominant force. As the monopolist of public power, the Leviathan of the digital age, government should obligate its responsibility without crossing the line, should play an active role while further developing the spirit and unique value of the "multi-stakeholder model". We need to reassess and discuss the role government plays in internet governance in the perspective of the new future of the Internet with new situation and new challenges, to ensure the stability and prosperity of the Internet in the next 50 years, and further benefit every country and every persons. This should also be the top priority of IGF`s future development.

Expected Outcomes

(1)recognizing the leading role of the government, the two mechanisms of government-led and multi-stakeholder models should complement each other;

(2)realizing the UN should play a more proactive role in global internet governance, the IGF should keep pace with the new development;

(3)accelerating the development of global norms of behavior in cyberspace under the leadership of the United Nations.

Hybrid Format: This workshop provides the opportunities of both virtual and in-person participation. there will be both onsite and online moderators to encourage participants to share their thoughts. Some stakeholder groups will be invited to join the discussion by the rapporteurs in the coming months. And we are planning to oragnize chat groups on wechat and whatsapp to facilitate their participations.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.