[discuss] [governance] [ciresearchers] NETmundial documentsonline for comment

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Apr 20 09:20:32 UTC 2014

Thanks for the reference Avri and I've now had a chance to take a look at
your paper...

Useful, but I'm not sure how far it advances the discussion...

What I noticed in the paper and in effectively all of the "academic"
discussions on global (Internet) governance is that it completely ignores
the elephant in the room i.e. that global (Internet) governance is no long
about how to move bits and bytes around efficiently and effectively (if it
ever was).  Now, and with ever-increasing importance, global (Internet)
governance is about how vast reaches of Internet based wealth and power are
managed and distributed.  

The last figures that I saw had the Internet being in whole or in part
responsible for some 10% of the US economy and probably slightly smaller but
similar percentages of OECD economies overall, with somewhat smaller but
rapidly increasing percentages for the rest of the world's economies.  This
is not small potatoes.  Equally we know from Snowden that the Internet is
being used as the platform for an unprecedented global exertion of
clandestine political and economic power by the US and presumably by any
other country that has the resources to undertake these initiatives. 

So, to not analyse global (Internet) governance (viz. MSism) within its
power and influence context and the context of the contending forces that
are without any doubt attempting to shape this to serve their own private
ends, seems to me to miss the point.

And all this without speaking of the future where the Internet platform will
become even more significant, pervasive and determining i.e. as "global

Having control over this platform in whatever manner--active, passive, or
simply ensuring a status quo which privileges certain actors and positions
and disempowers and relatively immiserates others--gives one the
overwhelming power to shape the future.  

This IMHO is what global (Internet) governance is about and to my mind the
rest is playacting and stage management.


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf
Of Avri Doria
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2014 4:30 PM
To: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] [governance] [ciresearchers] NETmundial
documentsonline for comment

On 19-Apr-14 10:57, Alejandro Pisanty wrote:
> "Multistakeholderism" is not being used as an "ism", suggesting an 
> ideology or a belief. It is shorthand for "participation of all 
> stakeholders" and, depending on the case at hand, advances, 
> complements or blazes a trail for larger-scale democratic processes 
> (which as has been discussed, do not have a unique form.)


I should add that I discuss, ad nauseum perhaps, the word
multistakeholderism in a chapter of "The evolution of Global Internet
Governance" by Radu et al.  in a chapter called "Use [and abuse] of
Multistakeholderism in the Internet" Springer-Schulthess 2013.

I have an early version of this article before the polishing editors give it


I do not think it is available on line otherwise.

The chapter also contains a discussion on Democracy that I am sure will
cause some to gag into flame.  I have yet to further develop this theme
beyond those few pages and would go further now in terms of multistakeholder
models as participatory democracy models.  My contribution to NetMundial
(117), makes some of those points.



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