[discuss] Governmental participation (Was: Problem definition 1, v5)

Marilia Maciel mariliamaciel at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 20:22:51 UTC 2014


On Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 5:17 PM, Jeanette Hofmann <jeanette at wzb.eu> wrote:

> GAC traumatization should make us ask what can be learned from this
> 'architectural' failure.
> Having governments participate as individual experts may work in specific
> contexts such as the IETF but I don't think it can be generalized. One of
> the differences between IETF and IG matters is that we the structure we are
> discussing here is expected to create binding solutions and cannot just
> delegate the question of acceptance and compliance to the market.
> And frankly, I wouldn't want to reduce political conflicts to matters of
> (differing) expertise. There are piles and piles of literature describing
> how politicians, by declaring something as a "technical matter", try to
> de-politicize issues, i.e. foreclosing public attention and opinion
> building. The legitimate structure must try to accommodate the diversity of
> views and roles both within and across stakeholder groups. Reducing
> everyone to an individual expert does not sound like viable solution to me.
> Otoh, the institutional issues of ICANN seem a good starting point to
> think of better solutions.
> jeanette
> Am 24.01.2014 19:45, schrieb Milton L Mueller:
>> (new header)
>> *From:*Alejandro Pisanty [mailto:apisanty at gmail.com]
>>  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")
>> Slaughter’s concept of transgovernmental networks (TGNs) is indeed
>> relevant here, though not as directly applicable as one might think.
>> Typically TGN research in political science has focused on networks of
>> specialized governmental agencies in the same policy sector, such as,
>> say, telecommunications or environmental regulation. Some of these TGNs
>> (e.g., London Action Plan, which is analyzed in my book and in some more
>> detailed research at Delft) are even multistakeholder in composition.
>> TGNs are relevant to the conversation we are having here in that they
>> involve transnational cooperation among governments below the level of
>> the single, official national position. They are less relevant to this
>> conversation because they are more about knowledge-sharing and
>> coordination among governments in their traditional policy making role
>> at the national level, and not about governmental participation in a
>> transnational, private sector-based MS policy making regime.
>>  >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.
>> But I think this line of inquiry makes it clearer why the GAC is such a
>> monstrosity in institutional terms. You have a dysfunctional and
>> incoherent mixture of the multistakeholder model with
>> intergovernmentalism. What we have in GAC is _/not/_ governmental actors
>> interacting with private sector and civil society actors as peers in the
>> joint formulation of policy. Instead, governments shut themselves up in
>> a room with other governments, all of whom profess to uphold a single
>> official position that purports to be that of a “country.” In short, it
>> has all the trappings and procedures of an intergovernmental
>> organization, yet it is embedded within a private corporation that can
>> impose global policies via contract. The governments are not bound by
>> standard legal checks and balances (GAC positions can have the same
>> force of a treaty but are not ratified by legislatures and cannot be
>> challenged in court). In developing its policy positions, the GAC’s
>> process is completely independent of, and parallel to, the bottom up
>> policy making process, which inevitably leads to contradictions. This
>> puts GAC in a position to second-guess, circumvent or override the
>> bottom up process by giving “advice” to the board. The bifurcated
>> structure also encourages GAC to see their giving of advice as a power
>> struggle in which the whole point of the game is to see how much they
>> can get the board take their position and not the GNSO’s.  Lobbyists
>> routinely exploit this override capability to try to get from the GAC
>> what they failed to get in a bottom up consensus-based process, which
>> undermines the credibility of the GNSO and any commitment actors might
>> make to it.
>> I do not fear a governmental takeover of the Internet, or an
>> unaccountable private sector-based governance of the Internet, half as
>> much as I fear that we will end up with an incoherent and dysfunctional
>> mixture of the two principles.
>> --MM
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*Marília Maciel*
Pesquisadora Gestora
Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade - FGV Direito Rio

Researcher and Coordinator
Center for Technology & Society - FGV Law School

DiploFoundation associate
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