Introduction to an issue of Continuum based on a research colloquium that took place on May 5-7, 2003, in the cities of Padova and Venice, Italy. Sponsored by the University of Padova, the colloquium title was "Information Society Visions and Governance: The World Summit on the Information Society and Beyond." The event was intended to serve as an opportunity for communication policy researchers to gather and reflect on research and policy agendas for global communication in anticipation of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which took place in December 2003 in Geneva. Global, or at least transnational, policy making is not a recent phenomenon, although the degree of public participation in global policy forums is arguably on the rise. These essays are focused mostly on the role of civil society—that part of social life that is often distinguished from the state and the corporate sector—in the generation of a worldwide public discourse about the future of communication rights and the global policies that are needed to secure them.
Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 18, No. 3, September 2004, pp. 317±329. PDF