This article comes from a core chapter of my PhD and will be published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. You can view the pre-print here: The Role of the Rule of Law in Virtual Communities (forthcoming BTLJ 2011) (PDF). There is a severe tendency in cyberlaw theory to delegitimize state intervention in the governance Read more about The role of the rule of law in virtual communities[…]
My PhD thesis is available here: Digital constitutionalism and the role of the rule of law in virtual communities.
This thesis considers one main question: how should we regulate the exercise of private governance power in virtual communities? This question centres on the legitimacy of governance in the way that community norms are created and enforced. This is the project of digital constitutionalism, which seeks to articulate a set of limits on private power that will best encourage innovation and autonomy and simultaneously protect the legitimate interests of participants in these increasingly important spaces. In answering this question, I provide a normative framework based upon the broad ideals of the rule of law through which to conceptualise the tensions about governance that arise in virtual communities.