[discuss] [bestbits] Representative Multistakeholder modelvalidity

Ian Peter ian.peter at ianpeter.com
Sat Jan 18 22:28:43 UTC 2014

I’m with Jeanette too - as regards longer term models. I think multistakeholder dialogue and involvement has proved itself well and needs to be maintained, but multistakeholder representative models – when no clear boundaries exist or can reasonably be constructed - are problematic and likely to remain so.

Ian Peter

From: Cheryl Langdon-Orr 
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 9:19 AM
To: discuss at 1net.org 
Subject: Re: [discuss] [bestbits] Representative Multistakeholder modelvalidity

That makes a lot of sense to me Jeanette... 

CLO from my Mobile phone

On 19/01/2014 8:51 AM, "Jeanette Hofmann" <jeanette at wzb.eu> wrote:

  The concept of representation is usually linked to national democracies and thus to a quantifiable number of voters. Even in this context, representation is a contested issue since it is by no means clear how to fairly represent the voters' opinions which might depend on context, change of time etc. To date, there are so many different voting systems and not one of them can claim to have found the ultimate solution to this vexed problem. Each voting system privileges and disadvantages certain groups.
  What is more, fair representation is just one issue. Another issue is to create more or less stable majorities, select competent people etc.

  If the concept of representation has many issues on the national level, how can we expect to create representative structures on the transnational level? Under the circumstances of a global constituency representativeness will remain a fiction!

  The open question to me is about functional equivalents to representation. Representation is supposed to lend legitimacy to political processes. What other mechanisms can create sufficient trust in the process so that people who are not chosen for one of the committees still accept their existence, processes and outcomes?

  Transparency is an obvious source of legitimacy, so might be the reputation of candidates (i.e. those known for being open-minded, constructive, competent and able to take other opinions than their own on board. I am sure we can come up with ways to integrate views and perspectives into the process that ensure are broader range than those held by committee members.

  In short, I think we should drop representativeness as a criteria of legitimacy and focus on other means of creating legitimate processes.


  Am 18.01.14 22:01, schrieb Norbert Bollow:

    John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:

      I understand how an _open_ multistakeholder approach allows for
      everyone (who wishes) to present their views on a given topic, have
      those views considered based on their merits, and allow all to ponder
      and revise their understanding based on the information exchanged.

      I fail to understand how an _representative_ multistakeholder
      approach fairly provides for the "represented" to have their
      positions considered in a manner that allows for all participating to
      revise their views based on the discussion that occurs, and if this
      does not occur than one may argue that there isn't actual
      deliberative consideration going but simply a dance of posturing and

    In my view, representative multistakeholder approaches are not about
    creating a broad discourse, but about populating, in a reasonably fair
    and balanced manner, committees and the like which for practical
    reasons have only a quite limited number of seats.

    I posit that a reasonable way to implement a process for selecting
    representatives is for each stakeholder category to organize a
    randomly selected NomCom process, with each NomCom being tasked to
    seek to choose a set of representatives who jointly represent the
    breadth of perspectives of that stakeholder category as well as
    is possible under the circumstances.

    Individuals who are close to one of the unavoidably fuzzy boundaries
    between stakeholder categories would get to choose which one of
    the stakeholder category that are on offer in that particular context
    fits them best.

    I don't claim that this kind of approach would yield perfect
    representation, but at least the imperfections would be random rather
    than systematic, and any bias in the pool of people who tend to
    volunteer for serving on NomComs can be addressed by the very
    democratic process that anyone who is concerned about such bias is free
    to seek to convince other qualified people (who don't have that bias)
    to volunteer for future NomCom pools.


    discuss mailing list
    discuss at 1net.org

  discuss mailing list
  discuss at 1net.org

discuss mailing list
discuss at 1net.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://1net-mail.1net.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20140119/d1a9cf8e/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list