[discuss] Problem definition 1, version 5

Alejandro Pisanty apisanty at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 15:49:50 UTC 2014


it is in the nature of public service to be bound by written as well as
unwritten rules and policies. They go from strict instructions, your work
contract, and other formal rules, to don't-rock-the-boat, esprit de corps
and others.

In this list there are a number of government officials who are painfully
restrained in this way. It is a waste of talent indeed.

OTOH to your perspective: can we add to the governmental participation a
bit of Slaughter's intergovernmental network perspective? (p. 187 of A New
World Order carries the title "Enhancing Cooperation") - these are spaces
where government officials enjoy a bit more latitude and in fact it's very
likely that the GAC is much more than "a body", it is one more node in such
networks. The officials there meet in many other spaces as well: the ITU,
UNESCO, the regional telecommunications organizations, regulators'
networks, etc., which we ignore at our peril in the design or redesign of

How would that change or modulate your three models?


Alejandro Pisanty

On Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 9:20 AM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

> -----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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     Dr. Alejandro Pisanty
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