[discuss] Problem definition 1, version 5

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Fri Jan 24 15:20:40 UTC 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf Of Jeanette Hofmann

>I don't see governments participating as individual experts as Milton suggests. 
>That would surely create problems of accountability for governments or their 
>ministerial administrations. One of the specific features of governments is that 
>they are, at least in theory, answerable to parliaments and, indirectly, to voters.

It is an interesting point that Jeanette makes but again I think we are being too bound by traditional thinking. This is why I emphasize the basic choices of political structure: unilateral state hegemony, multilateral, or de-nationalized/multistakeholder. Yes, of course, the traditional way is for all the agency differences within a government to be consolidated into a single position, and for the _majority_ in a parliament to formulate a single, centralized position for an entire national polity. What this means is that dozens of perspectives and positions are lost, and the ability of these different interests to form coalitions with like-minded agencies or people in other governments or other parliaments is lost. A robust, denationalized multistakeholder process, on the other hand, would reflect and encourage the full airing of these differences in a globalized and transparent way. 

>As individual experts government delegates would count as civil society in my eyes.

More to the point, the civil society/govt distinction would not even matter if the process could allow individual experts to freely voice their views. But as you also noted, existing state-based institutions would prevent such an individual expert from being fully active and fully utilized in a multistakeholder process, in most cases (there are exceptions), because such a person would not be "accountable" to the "official" policy of the state. 

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