[governance] Parminder's exchange with Bertrand

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Wed Mar 3 02:13:44 EST 2010

On 03/03/2010, at 12:42 PM, Parminder wrote:

> I agree with Milton's doubts whether the MS framework contributes anything new (in a positive sense) for organising our political systems. What does the term stakeholder groups bring in beyond what we already know as 'interest groups', a basic and a widely used concept  of  representative democracy. Unless those arguing for MS-ism as the basic new governance form clearly articulate a response to this question, it is difficult to go any further in this discussion. 

It can be justified on the basis that each of the stakeholder groups draws its legitimacy from a different source.  For governments, it is their democratic representation of their citizens; for the private sector, it is that free markets offer superior efficiency in the distribution of goods and services; and civil society promotes substantive values for their own sake, including transnational values for which governments can claim no democratic mandate.

But at the end of the day I agree with Avri that largely it is largely a pragmatic thing, because the three (arguably more) stakeholder groups were formally recognised at WSIS, so why not let's run with that while it helps us, without assuming it is either a panacea or a fundamentally new paradigm of governance.

Jeremy Malcolm
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Consumers International
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