[discuss] Problem definition 1, version 5

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Thu Jan 23 02:23:52 UTC 2014

>Hi Marilia, I guess Milton means privatization without any public supervision, 
>which does not solve the issues you mention, however.

Jeanette: On the contrary, I believe that de-nationalization involves creating new transnational institutions with their own internal and external accountability mechanisms.
> Could we really say that delegation to a transnational private actor 
> means to "de-nationalize"? I tend to think this is over-simplification.
> This private actor may not have a corresponding nationality in the 
> sense that a country does. But if we zoom in and look inside it, there 
> are other issues to take into account. Where is it based? What is its 
> institutional culture? Where is its staff from? Who are the members?  
> Do vocal people inside it really correspond to a global diversity of views?
> There are many different ways in which apparently de-nationalized 
> transnational actors may in fact have nationality(ies).

Marilia: Yes, we can say that institutional arrangements that are not based on a national government or an intergovernmental regime is to de-nationalize. You should not confuse the problem of diversity of voices with more basic issues of political structure. No one should claim that denationalization solves or magically improves all problems of governance and representation. But we _do_ have to choose whether the institutional arrangements are based on the nation-state system or not. That is the first and most important choice we have to make. As Jeannette's comments above illustrate, after a century or two of modern nation-states it's easy to confuse the concept of "public" with the concept of "state." That is the mentality I am trying to free us from. 

Further, the question of to whom an organization is accountable is far more important than where an entity is located geographically, or even the formal nationality of its employees.  

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