[discuss] [bestbits] Representative Multistakeholder model validity

Jeanette Hofmann jeanette at wzb.eu
Sat Jan 18 23:43:59 UTC 2014




> 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?
>
> */[MG>] you personalize this...

Only because of the context.

Both on the national and the transnational level we use entities such as 
parties, social classes and now stakeholders as a way of aggregating 
opinions, interests etc.

Stakeholders differ from parties or classes in that they aggregate 
sectors and related skills, values and interests rather than political 
opinions. Interestingly, the most fundamental political controversies 
seem to take place within the CS stakeholder group and not between CS 
and other stakeholders.

Still, I don't think that representation is the adequate model to select 
people or groups. There is no limit to underrepresented, marginalized 
views that deserve to be heard.

jeanette

These issues are not about individuals
> or personalities but rather about deeper dare I say, “political”
> differences and clashes of interests that need to be reconciled in order
> to move forward.. Attempts to by-pass or cover these over or eliminate
> them through various postures of avoidance simply allow them to fester
> and grow even more powerful and destructive.../*
>
> 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.
>
> */[MG>] again you reduce this to "personalities" -- is there a specific
> reason for doing so? Perhaps because it is easier to
> delegitimize/demonize an individual than to respond to a clearly
> articulated political/interest position. /*
>
> *//*
>
> */And why do you not include the obvious characteristics of
> fairness/natural justice; evident lack of systematic bias; obvious
> attempts at broad based inclusion (and not simply formalized identity
> based inclusion); and so on.  These would seem to be obvious and
> self-evident pre-conditions for a legitimate process whatever methods of
> "representation" (or not) are ultimately agreed upon./*
>
> In short, I think we should drop representativeness as a criteria of
> legitimacy and focus on other means of creating legitimate processes.
>
> */[MG>] yes, as per the above./*
>
> *//*
>
> */M/*
>
> jeanette
>
> Am 18.01.14 22:01, schrieb Norbert Bollow:
>
>  > John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org <mailto: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
>
>  >> negotiation.
>
>  >
>
>  > 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.
>
>  >
>
>  > Greetings,
>
>  > Norbert
>
>  >
>
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