[discuss] Problem definition 1, version 5

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Wed Jan 22 21:05:24 UTC 2014

On Jan 22, 2014, at 10:30 AM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu<mailto:mueller at syr.edu>> wrote:

No, we have a different understanding and definition of the problem. I see it as a ‘source of authority/legitimacy’ problem – George simply says that people are dissatisfied with US control of the IANA contract.

Milton -

Those two views are not necessarily that far apart...  (in fact, I actually see both of them as
being slightly different aspects of a problem statement which would have a much larger scope)

However, your original comment definitely confused me, as it discussed authority/legitimacy
only in terms of delegation and nation-states -

Structurally, there are three basic options for getting globalized governance:

1) unilateral globalism, i.e. a single state achieves global hegemony (the status quo IANA)
2) multilateral globalism, i.e., individual nation-states negotiate a universal agreement
3) denationalization, i.e., delegation to a transnational private actor

Do you see those as the only basis of legitimacy?    I will note that the IETF and the W3C
make use of a unique registry of multimedia media types (aka "MIME types") which is very
important to successful Internet and web operation today; their collective authority to do so
does not originate or nor is it delegated from any nation-state or collection thereof; it lies
with and by the consent of those directly affected by that registry of Internet identifiers.
This would appear to be an additional example of global governance to your three options
listed above.

I agree that the present formulation of the problem statement is a subset of the greater
question of authority/legitimacy, but such sharp focus is keeping with what George said he
would do - i.e. decomposition "into smaller relatively independent problems may be easier
to solve by attacking the various pieces of the problem separately"

Do you support working on the smaller problem statement that he's provided as an first
step, or are there changes that you would propose to make it more workable?


Disclaimers:  My views alone.

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