Wolfgang Kleinwaechter
Candidate in ICANNATLARGE.COM Interim Panel Election April 2002

Wolfgang Kleinwaechter

Born in 1947 in Germany
Married, 2 Sons

Professor for International Communication Policy and Regulation at the Department for Media and Information Sciences of the Unversity of Aarhus


cf. Wolfgang Kleinwaechter

What kind of At Large organization do you want to build, and how should it fit into ICANN?

I believe, that Internet Users play an important role in a triangular governance structure of the Internet. Neither an inter-governmental organisation nor a traditional transnational private sector corporation should alone make key decisions on technical issues with far reaching political, economic and social consequences. My understanding of an "At Large Organisation" is that this organisation should become a third factor in global Internet governance, representing users and particular civil society next to governments and private industry. Its main task would be to rebalance decisions concerning the key ressources of the Internet (Domain Names, Addresses, Protocols, Root Server) by identifying special interests of Internet users, in particular from a point of view of civil society, and introducing them into a broader global bottom up policy development process. An ALSO should both act as an initiator of discussions and as a coordinator of actions with regard to ICANN´s mission. It should be also an organisator for the development of mechanisms for the election of representatives of Internet Users to the decision making bodies within the ICANN structure.

Why do you think that you are a good candidate for this position?

Policy and regulation of the transborder flow of communication and the development of the Internet are subjects of my academic research work since more than 20 years. I was involved in a number of international governmental and non-governmental projects (including UNESCO, ITU, European Commission, Internet Society) and have published numerous articles. I am an Internet User since December 1991 when I got my first e-mail address at the University of Tampere in Finland. I am also the contact point of a non-for provit organisation in Germany, which holds the domain name www.medienstadt-leipzig.org. I have followed ICANN´s development since the beginning in 1998 very closely as an independent academic observer. In recent years I became involved in a number of activities, related to the At Large Membership issue. My position at the University of Aarhus allow me both to remain independent and to find the time and ressources to participate in the process. With detailed knowledge on the ICANN process and numerous contacts to different ICANN stakeholders - from private industry to governments - I believe that I can make a constructive contribution to the building of a global Internet User Organisation.


Wolfgang Kleinwaechter is a professor for international communication policy. Since 1998 he works at the Department for Media and Information Sciences of the University of Aarhus in Denmark. Before that he had appointments at the Institute for international Studies of the University of Leipzig/Germany (until 1991), the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Tampere/Finland (1992) and the School of International Services at the American University in Washington, D.C. (1993/1994). Between 1994 and 1998 he was the coordinator of the regional Information Society Initiative of the Free State of Saxony in Germany and the Chairman of the Management Board of the Inter-Regional Information Society Initiative (IRISI) of the European Commission in Brussles. He has a B.A. in Communication Sciences (1971), a M.A in International Law (1974) and a Ph.D. in International Relations (1981) from the University of Leipzig/Germany.

From 1988-1998 he was the President of the Law Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and serves since 2000 in the IAMCR International Council. He is the member of a number of Advisory Boards and Programme Committees, including "Gazette" and "INET 2002". He is also a Corresponding Member of the German UNESCO-Commission

He was involved in a number of research projects of the European Commission like ETHOS, IRISI and TELECITIES. He has made also some consultative work for public institutions and private sector corporations, including the City Council of Leipzig, the Economic Ministry of the Saxonian Government, the Bertelsmann AG, RTL TV, Astra SES and the World Teleport Association on various issues of communication policy, broadcasting and internet development.

His academic research is concentrated on political and legal issues of transborder flow of communication. He is involved in the development of policies for the Internet Domain Name System since the middle of the 1990s. He has participated as an independent observer in all ICANN Board Meetings since Singapur (March 1999). He was a member of ICANN´s "Membership Information Task Force" (MITF) and became a co-founder of the "Civil Society Internet Forum" (CSIF) in Yokohama (July 2000) and the "Interim Coordinating Committee" (ICC) in Marina del Rey (November 2000), which organized the so-called "ALM-Dialogue with ALM-Directors" during the ICANN Meetings in Melbourne (March 2001), Stockholm (June 2001), Montevideo (September 2001) and Marina del Rey (November 2001). He is also the initiator of the ICANN-Studienkreis, an open platform of Internet activists from Policy, Economy, Academia and the Media in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland where is organizing the annual conferences (Leipzig 2000, Zuerich 2001, Salzburg 2002). He just finished a book on Self-Regulation of the Internet and ICANN which will be published later this year in the Beck-Verlag in Germany.

His recent publications include

For more information about my teaching activities see

Information from: ICANNATLARGE.COM