The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Dasha Barinova, Dmitriy Skougarevskiy: Asymmetry of Online Political Space: Comparative Analysis of 259 Country Code Domain Names

Dasha Barinova, Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Dmitriy Skougarevskiy, The Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID)

Asymmetry of Online Political Space


The paper describes country code top level domain names (national domains) approach for learning about the role and the place of the nation-state in cyberspace. National domains are used as a tool to demarcate national borders in online political system. The author collected a unique data base on 259 ccTLDs. The author created a tool for analysis of national online-politics based on comparative analysis of 9 variables for every ccTLD. Geopolitical approach is based on the concept of Stein Rokkan, who suggested to explore new political spaces by giving the description of the configuration of their territories. The paper investigates a key problem of political science – interrelation between power and territory – and looks into the impact of the Internet on this relation. In physical world modern states use special political legal territorial entities within their national borders. In the paper national domains are regarded as state identifiers, which play role of national “entities”, or territories, on the Internet. The author regards ccTLDs as platforms for national development in cyberspace.

Dasha Barinova, Dmitriy Skougarevskiy