Excavating Historicity in the U.S. Network Neutrality Debate: An Interpretive Perspective on Policy Change

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Abstract

This article offers a framework for studying the historicity of the contemporary debate about network neutrality in the United States by drawing on the theory of intertextuality. Contrary to the popular notion that the idea of “neutrality” first appeared in 2002, the article traces the term back to the 1960s when the Federal Communications Commission took up the problem of convergence or “compunications” in the Computer Inquiry proceedings. The article closes with some reflections about how an intertextual perspective informs study of policy as a constitutive discursive practice.

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