The current approach to Internet governance is politically untenable because it lacks legitimacy in the eyes of many new Internet users. Legitimacy is a central issue for Internet governance. In this paper, the fourth in the Internet Governance Papers series, James A. Lewis argues that a new model for Internet governance must be able to manage a global infrastructure. A clear division of labour among the multi-stakeholder community that explicitly recognizes where governments must play a leading role would be a useful and achievable first step.

The need to develop a coherent strategy for Internet governance ensuring that difficult trade-offs between competing interests, as well as between distinct public values, are managed in a consistent, transparent and accountable manner that accurately reflects public priorities guides the members of this research project, launched in 2012. In aiming to develop this strategy, project members will consider what kind of Internet the world wants in 2020, and will lay the analytical groundwork for future Internet governance discussions, most notably the upcoming decennial review of the World Summit on the Information Society. The Internet Governance paper series will result in the publication of a book in early 2014.