Holding the Internet Together

I’ve posted the draft of my latest paper, The Centripetal Network, to SSRN. In it, I argue that much of the success of the Internet derives from its composite, federated structure. Yet in several ways, the Internet today is in danger of breaking up. The balkanization of the Net is a threat we should take seriously. Drawing on the scientific literature of network formation theory, I show how growing networks like the Internet are inherently unstable, and may disintegrate into poorly connected enclaves more quickly than we might imagine.