Digital Capitalism's Crises of Sovereignty
Specific developments on the Internet of the 2000s require a more complex understanding of sovereignty in the digital age. It is not sufficient to conceive of sovereignty as a purely political capacity for self-government and self-determination carried out by the nation-state. Instead only a systematic analysis of the connection between the radical commercialization and oligopolistic domination of the Internet (Staab 2019) as well as its political control (Deibert et al. 2008; 2010) can reveal the extent of the sovereignty crises in digital capitalism. To elaborate this claim, I will at first (1) briefly describe some key elements and events in the recent history of the capitalist development of the Internet. Then (2) I will look at the specific production model of the leading companies of the commercial Internet that have matured in this context and (3) outline some of its most important socio- economic effects. These descriptions lead me to (4) the diagnosis of three sovereignty crises systematically linked to the expansion of digital capitalism. In a concluding point, I outline (5) elements of a possible reaction to this constellation of crises in the European context.