[bestbits] Debunking eight myths about multi-stakeholderism

Michael Gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 11:43:18 EDT 2015

Only one additional comment to add to Barry Shein's excellent post...

At the end of your blog Jeremy you (channeling Margaret Thatcher) suggest
that There is no Alternative (to MSism) blah, blah... But as with Maggie the
question is alternative to what? In Maggie's case it was a country stripped
of its protections for the marginalized and poor, giving a one way ticket to
enabling the rich to get richer and allowing for a more or less complete
capitulation of the State as a protector of the public good.

Is there really no alternative to that mystical unicorn--MSism which has the
unfortunate tendency to disappear as soon as anyone tries to get up close...

I think a more appropriate question might be how to we develop more
appropriate, engaging, context sensitive governance processes in our
technology enabled globalized environment.

MSism may be one approach  and certainly does offer some interesting, if
largely theoretical (to date) hints as to direction, but figuring out how to
extend, expand, disperse democratic participation (as for example various
groups around the world have been experimenting with) offer another and one
rather less subject to elite capture and manipulation.


-----Original Message-----
From: bestbits-request at lists.bestbits.net
[mailto:bestbits-request at lists.bestbits.net] On Behalf Of Barry Shein
Sent: April 24, 2015 5:57 PM
To: Jeremy Malcolm
Cc: Bits bestbits at lists.bestbits.net
Subject: Re: [bestbits] Debunking eight myths about multi-stakeholderism

On April 24, 2015 at 15:45 jmalcolm at eff.org (Jeremy Malcolm) wrote:

That's all well and good and a nice easy read.

However it doesn't address what I think are the biggest concerns with
multistakeholderism which are:

o How are stakeholders defined and selected? And by whom? How do we
  ascertain that a stakeholder is legitimate?

o How are they enfranchised? For example, one stakeholder one vote? Or
  some sort of proportional representation? By what metric?

o How does enfranchisement work other than a hand-wave to simple
  majority of whoever happens to be in the room? How does workflow and
  agenda work? Consensus? Majority assent? Committee? etc.

o What is the dispute resolution process? Is there a judiciary aspect?

At some point one has to get beyond simplistic claims that it's good because
it's not bad and instead begin laying out structural details.

        -Barry Shein

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