Infrastructures—whether physical, informational, digital—can have regulatory-type effects. These include requiring, preventing, channeling, enabling, and nudging particular human and social behavior. Infrastructures also help to shape second-order regulatory-type actions and structures. When stable, these infrastructures exert substantial power in social ordering. They interact or compete with law. In these ways, infrastructures have major effects on social relations, identities, roles, capabilities, and possibilities. We propose study of these phenomena under the moniker “Infrastructures as Regulation” (InfraReg).
The InfraReg project is being continued in tribute to the late Sally Merry and her inspiration, under the leadership of Benedict Kingsbury and other colleagues. [Read More about the InfraReg Network, Papers, and Events.]