Governance studies/private governance

Governance studies was my area of research for my doctoral dissertation. I looked at how novel governance structures are created and built, and from an academic literature perspective argued that the human element, invariably left out of the conversation surrounding building blocks, plays a crucial element in private governance. My expertise is primarily on multistakeholderism, both in how it is currently applied in the few national or international institutions that claim it as their structure, and how it can be applied in other areas, primarily complex problems and issues that contextually would have a difficult time being regulated by the state (like speech in a US context).

In August 2018, along with Danielle Tomson, I co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how private governance mechanisms can be a good way forward in keeping platforms accountable.

Following up on that, also with Dr. Tomson who presented it, I co-wrote a conference paper in 2019:

  • Multi-stakeholder Governance for Platform Tech and Content Moderation? A Discussion of Principles, Opportunities and Learnings. David Morar, Danielle Tomson. Creator Governance: Platforms, Policies, Rights, And Regulation; International Communication Association 2019 Post-Conference. May 2019, Washington, DC

In 2021 for the Brookings Institution’s TechTank blog, I wrote about how the Facebook Oversight Board can make a good, if imperfect case for private governance.

In collaboration with Chris Riley, also in 2021, I helped build a private multistakeholder convening in order to kick off a potential layered approach to platform governance.

In 2022 for the Brookings Institution’s TechTank blog, I wrote about the co-regulatory mechanisms (a form of private governance) enshrined in the EU’s Digital Services Act.

Also in 2022, for TechPolicyPress, I wrote about the work being done by industry via the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership, in an early bid at self-regulation on content moderation (or more broadly Trust and Safety).

In 2023, I had a research paper authored for the R Street Institute, which contrasts two different approaches towards co-regulatory mechanisms, the EU and UK ones.

Also in 2023, for TechPolicyPress, alongside Prem Trivedi, I co-wrote about the underlying private governance mechanisms missing from a recent White House AI Voluntary Committments.