Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Donna Kirchheimer

Committee Members

Stephen Brier

Andrew Rich

Charles Tien

Sarah Zelikovitz

Subject Categories

Political Science


public policy, cybersecurity, internet


There remains a widespread perception among both the public and elements of academia that the Internet is "ungovernable". However, this idea, as well as the notion that the Internet has become some type of cyber-libertarian utopia, is wholly inaccurate. Governments may certainly encounter tremendous difficulty in attempting to regulate the Internet, but numerous "architectures of control" have nevertheless become pervasive. So who, then, governs the Internet? Our contentions are that the Internet is, in fact, being governed; that it is being governed by specific and identifiable networks of policy actors; and that an argument can be made as to how it is being governed.

This project will develop a new conceptual framework for analysis that deconstructs the Internet into four policy "layers" with the aim of formulating a new political architecture that accurately maps out and depicts authority on the Internet by identifying who has demonstrable policymaking authority that constrains or enables behavior with intentional effects. We will then assess this four-layer model and its resulting map of political architecture by performing a detailed case study of U.S. national cybersecurity policy, post-9/11. Ultimately, we will seek to determine the consequences of these political arrangements and governance policies.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.