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Federalism

A Political Theory for Our Time

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Edited By Lucio Levi, Giampiero Bordino and Antonio Mosconi

This volume is a collection of essays published between 1999 and 2015 in the review The Federalist Debate. The book highlights the issue of federalism intended as a theoretical paradigm to interpret the major problems of our age, and in particular the issues of peace and war in a world characterized by an uncontrolled globalization.

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A Constitution for the Internet

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Stefano RODOTÀ

Is the Internet in need of a Constitution? The question is topical after the news of censoring initiatives by the Chinese government, leading to the arrest of a dissident there, and even of the cooperation offered by an American portal, Yahoo!. The question cannot be dodged by arguing that any attempt to impose rules on the Web is impossible or unnecessary. The Internet is the widest public space mankind has ever known, where every day millions of people exchange messages, produce and acquire knowledge, build up political and social participation, play, buy and exchange goods and services. Can all this be left to the bullying of authoritarian regimes or to the conveniences of the market?

Some months ago Microsoft already started agreeing to warn its Chinese customers not to use words like liberty, democracy, participation in their electronic messages. More seriously, Yahoo! provided the information necessary to trace back an e-mail that a journalist, Shi Tao, had sent to the United States, reporting on a warning issued by the government to journalists over the risks of the presence of dissidents at the Tienanmen Square’s anniversary. Shi Tao was later sentenced to ten years in prison for spreading allegedly secret news. Finally, a law was passed that subjects messages over the Internet to strict control, authorizing only the “good” ones, in order to avoid a democratic contagion spreading via the Web that might foster the influence of voluntary organizations, make mobilization possible among...

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