[discuss] [bestbits] Representative Multistakeholder model validity

Jeanette Hofmann jeanette at wzb.eu
Sun Jan 19 14:31:16 UTC 2014


Am 19.01.14 10:30, schrieb Mawaki Chango:
>
> Agree that there is no perfect solution for representation. But we have
> to be concerned with "relatively good representation" because there are
> solutions that are less representative than others and solutions that
> are more representative than others.

Hi Mawaki,

relatively good representation relative to what? All definitions of 
internet governance I am aware of are broad and fuzzy, perhaps rightly 
so. Now, how can we possibly map the global interests in these matters 
as a basis for assessing the quality of representation? I think this is 
impossible to do.

My guess is we can only measure representation relative to those people 
who speak up on any of the mailing lists revolving around IG themes.

As far as I remember the IGC members have always been painfully aware 
that the IGC at least is by no means representative of anyone and 
anything which is why we never claimed the right to select the list of 
civil society candidates for the MAG. We always knew that there are most 
likely other groups out there who might also have good reasons to 
nominate people for the MAG and are not even aware of our existence! 
Same thing can be said about bestbits, which has roughly the same 
subscribers to begin with as Nenna found out.

So I say this one more time before I shut up on this issue: 
representativeness is no category that can be sufficiently 
operationalized in a transnational or global context.

jeanette


For instance the random process for
> designating the NomCom as Norbert pointed out, is meant to achieve such
> relatively better (more acceptable, legitimate) representative outcome,
> while the 3 examples of limitation he gave 11+ hours ago in response to
> John Curran could indeed provide a basis for challenge to the legitimacy
> of a nomination outcome. From all this discussion, it appears obvious to
> me that in the future we should avoid by any means necessary having a
> self-selected group of people appointing another group of people only
> from their organization/network affiliation (I'm assuming here that this
> has occurred based on this discussion thread and claims made here... At
> this point I personally have forgotten who got nominated and where, not
> that I don't care but just too much on my plate right now, sorry.)
>
> The above being said, I also agree that criteria for selection could me
> weighted/ranked depending on the issue at hand. For instance, in some
> cases expertise may weight heavier than the first degree inclusion of
> all interest groups in a given process.
>
> So while waiting for "those other means of creating legitimate
> processes" (assuming those other means are themselves accepted as
> legitimate or both fair and functional to the extent possible) it still
> a better thing to do (than not) to try and be as inclusive as possible,
> beyond promises that a particular set of individuals should be relied on
> to cover equally all the concerns/ viewpoints _only_ based on their
> personal qualities.
>
> Mawaki
>
>
> On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 12:35 AM, Nnenna Nwakanma <nnenna75 at gmail.com
> <mailto:nnenna75 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     Thanks, Jeanette  for raising these thoughts
>
>     I will concur with it over all and probably pursue it further from
>     my (the Civil Society) point of view.
>     What if we have  the issues/qualities that needed to be taken into
>     consideration in MS representation and weight them?
>
>       For instance competence/expertise having more weight and
>     regional/global south/grassroots representation weighted a bit less
>
>     That will allow for lesser considerations to still be there, but not
>     be the major issues.  In the case of Brazil Committees, maybe the
>     HLC could have weighted regional/grassroots/global south
>     representation more  or same with expertise/competence while the EMC
>     will weigh expertise more than representation
>
>     I am convinced that this must have guided the nomcom, but since we
>     did not have all of that discussed, agreed and written out in
>     advance, it may not have been obvious.
>
>     But from the explanations given by SC and Academia, I do believe
>     they toed similar lines.
>
>     Best
>
>     Nnenna
>
>
>
>
>     On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 11:58 PM, michael gurstein
>     <gurstein at gmail.com <mailto:gurstein at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>         Inline____
>
>         __ __
>
>         -----Original Message-----
>         From: Jeanette Hofmann [mailto:jeanette at wzb.eu
>         <mailto:jeanette at wzb.eu>]
>         Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:44 PM
>         To: michael gurstein; discuss at 1net.org <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>
>         Subject: Re: [discuss] [bestbits] Representative
>         Multistakeholder model validity
>
>         __ __
>
>         */[MG>] snip/*____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          > */[MG>] you personalize this...____
>
>         __ __
>
>         Only because of the context.____
>
>         __ __
>
>         */[MG>] ahh… yes, of course, ad hominems…/*____
>
>         __ __
>
>         */[MG>] snip/*____
>
>         __ __
>
>         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.____
>
>         __ __
>
>         */[MG>] could I point you as well to my upcoming blogpost
>         “Multistakeholderism for the powerful and well connected:
>         Tyranny for everyone else”.____/*
>
>         */__ __/*
>
>         */M/*____
>
>         __ __
>
>         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
>         <mailto:jcurran at istaff.org%20%3cmailto: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____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          >  >____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          >  > ___________________________________________________
>
>          >__ __
>
>          >  > discuss mailing list____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          >  > discuss at 1net.org <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>
>         <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          >  > http://1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          >  >____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          > ___________________________________________________
>
>          >__ __
>
>          > discuss mailing list____
>
>          >__ __
>
>          > discuss at 1net.org <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>
>         <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>____
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>
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