AW: [governance] multistakeholderism

Eric Dierker cogitoergosum at
Wed Aug 18 09:59:13 EDT 2010


You bring us to the base camp to see the mountain top but leave with the map 
still in your hip pocket. 

The door is open.  It would be best if we saw the frame of that door filled with 
participants.  My countrymen are suffering these days from a great depression -- 
Our economy is just a symptom and only a secondary infection.  The depression I 
speak of is lack of accountability.  No not corporate, individual.  We have been 
steadily sinking into a dispair of non-demanding or standing for anything. We 
have grown delighted in our things and dissolusioned in our processes.  I fear 
much of our world is suffering from the same malaise.  What we must concentrate 
on here is in the doing of the thing and not the thing itself.  We must somehow 
find a way to empower people.  Not respect them because they are human, but 
incentivize them to respect themselves and whatever contribution they may make.  
Democracy and Multistakeholderism only flourish with an active and positve 
desire to be a part of the process.

From: "Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" <wolfgang.kleinwaechter at>
To: governance at; David Allen <David_Allen_AB63 at>; 
governance at
Sent: Tue, August 17, 2010 1:01:07 PM
Subject: AW: [governance] multistakeholderism

Dear David

thanks for your inspiring contribution. "Deepening democracy" and 
"multistakeholderism" are in my eyes not a contradiction. It is the first and 
overall aim of the multistakeholder approach to deepen democracy. 

Decisions in a representative democracy are made by our parliaments. In 
international relations governments represent our nations. In a one stakeholder 
model only the government has a voice. A good government will listen to the 
people, a bad government will ignore this. However even under the best 
circumstances the chain of representation gets very long and it is difficult tho 
channel the opinion of the majority of the Internet users in a given country 
into the statements of career diplomat who takes only advise from his "Capital". 
Just to take one example: The German diplomat who sits in the second Committee 
of the UN General Assembly, which has to negotiate the future of the IGF in 
October/November 2010 is the "legitime representative" of Germany and represents 
insofar also the Internet Users in Germany. He has to negotiate around 50 issues 
and even if he tries to do his best he can not be an expert in this field. If he 
is wise (and fortunately the German governmental representatives in ICANN and 
the IGF are very open minded and cooperate with the public) he will listen to 
the various voices and than make his own decision if he has no instructions from 
his HQ. In a multistakeholder approach, there are more voices on the table. They 
will and can NOT substitute the diplomat who has to play "his respective role", 
but the inclusion of more viewpoins can lead to more sustainable and workable 
results. This combination of representative and participatory democracy is the 
core of the multistakeholder approach.  

Remember the early days of WSIS, wenn MS was not yet recognized and CS was 
removed from the room after the plenary meeting. We developed a multi-step 
strategy to include CS in policy and decision making within the WSIS process. 
Step 1: The right to sit in the room also in working groups as silent onlookers, 
Step 2: The right to make statements. Step 3: The right to participate in the 
discussion, Step 4. The right to draft language for recommendations, Step 5: The 
right to participate in the negotiations, Step 6: The right to participate in 
decison making and to vote. 

We reached Step 4 in WSIS, which was not bad if you compare it with the start. 
To have different voices on the table when policies are developed is important. 
But it is true. It can not be the end of the story just to sit and to say some 
words. Insofar, rights, duties and responsibilties of the various actors have to 
be defined and procedures for the interaction among the stakholders have to be 

BTW, it would be good if the pharma industry and the private health insure 
companies, when they negotiate with governments, would include the "users", that 
is the patients, into the discussion. This would be multistakeholder in 
healthcare. :-)))



Von: David Allen [mailto:David_Allen_AB63 at]
Gesendet: Di 17.08.2010 05:52
An: governance at
Betreff: Re:[governance] multistakeholderism

> I really do not see big differences between ... It is a little bit 
> playing with words

This comes perilously close to demeaning the original author.  That 
author most likely did not see his carefully thought-out propositions 
to be 'playing with words'...  Such is not convivial for the quality 
exchange we have seen on this list of late.  Instead, if we take care 
to respect the view we do not share, then our contrary reasons and 
evidence may help to find even more enlightened synthesis.

MS'ism - as practiced in Internet Governance - has been a means to try 
and insert more viewpoints into United Nations processes.  Whether 
that will 'work' is still unclear.  Power, as held by the states, is 
the starting point.  Will they cede and share some power?  That is the 
core question.  Certainly, MS'ism is what has given the likes of CS 
some seat at the table.  Indeed, that is to be treasured.  Has it also 
created the possibility for co-opting CS, by picking and choosing 
which CS voices are chosen, from amid the cacophony?  Has CS (or for 
that matter the other 'estate') been given 'equal time'?

There is a backdrop against which this has occurred.  On that much 
larger canvas, there are the seemingly ever-present pressures for 
expansion, finally now toward what some would characterize as a global 
polity.  In a recent post, if I remember, the Internet has been dubbed 
a new form of [effectively global] government.  Others have sought new 
forms of democratized governance, globally, seeing a failure of states 
per se and of the elected and representative forms of government so 
far in place.

As far as I can see, the Internet is a form of communication.  But 
people govern - communications tools, such as the Internet, can be 
turned to one or the other means, means often with very different end 
effects.  (Much) more than that, there is a dearth of thoughtfully-
worked out detail for what will replace representative forms of 

This larger canvas can situate the present subject:  MS'ism might 
indeed be a 'step along the way.'  But what are further steps, 
realistically? and at some (at least intermediate) end points, what 
forms of governance, concretely? reliably worked out?

Heading that direction could be one goal of quality exchange, such as 

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