[discuss] NETmundial / Neelie Kroes: My thoughts on NETmundial and the Future of Internet Governance

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sun Apr 13 02:15:46 UTC 2014

[MG>] huh... Poppycock!

I love it when you talk dirty

[MG]  I'm assuming that your local Parent Teacher Association or Faculty Association operates on the basis of some set of "democratic" principles or practices

So does the ICANN GNSO; the stakeholder groups elect Council members, their members elect their own officers, and so on. That's a pretty low bar. Stephanie Perrin's comments are more on point; they call out the inherent tension between the need for transnational governance forms and the territorial nature of the established rights emanating from liberal democratic states. I flagged this tension as a major theme in Networks and States. This is a big reason why so many Americans are allergic to global governance in the communications realm; they fear dilution of the First Amendment. Note also that we are talking about rights, not democracy per se; these rights actually act as strong brakes on democracy in the sense of rule by the majority or the people, in order to uphold individual freedom or privacy.

unless they've taken the advice of some trendy post-democratic "multistakeholder" theorist and are including text book companies and anti-evolution lobbyists as co-equal stakeholders in their decision making processes.

Uh, got news for ya, they are doing this. Not because of trendy MS theorists but because anti-evolution parents actually have the same "democratic" rights to speak, organize and vote as you do. And the people running textbook companies don't fool with PTAs, they go straight to lobbying the state governments. But I digress.

Your confusion between processes (democracy) and contexts (nation states, organizations, global publics);

I don't think I am confused about this at all; I think Kroes is. And possibly you, as well, since you've never specified any particular institutional form for your concept of "democratic" IG, other than implying that there should be a centralized global government, with an enormous Parliament. I think people who hurl the word 'democracy' around indiscriminately, as if it were the essence of political good, but pay no attention to the specific institutional forms that enable it, nor to the constitutional limits on mob rule, are just self-righteous noisemakers.

between structures (networks) and principles (democratic) is really quite astonishing.

In practice, structures determine principles.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://1net-mail.1net.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20140413/25cc08ad/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list