[discuss] What is MSism?
george.sadowsky at gmail.com
Sat Mar 29 06:58:28 UTC 2014
I strongly agree with these points of view, especially Stephen Farrell’s observation at the bottom of this post.
IMO multistakeholderism as a concept simply implies that those groups affected by how an issue is dealt with are at the table and are able to contribute. It could also mean that no one stakeholder can control the process over the objections of others. But that is a very, very broad definition. It excludes the government of North Korea.
The organizations that we are focusing our attention on are instances, or instantiations, of an MS principle. When we focus out attention on any one of these organizations, then it is the particular circumstances of that organization that is of interest, not they they are multistakeholder.
Issues regarding representational principles in MS organizations may be important, but IMO are better left to the academic sphere. Such discussions are unlikely to contribute to the problems that we discuss on this list. So as Stephen says, “let’s not do that."
(Perhaps we should call this m14s, in the spirit of i18n. Is my count right?)
On Mar 28, 2014, at 10:10 PM, Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie> wrote:
> On 03/28/2014 02:02 PM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
>> I have been a little frustrated by these threads about what "MSism"
>> is, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this is because it isn't one
>> thing. For instance, many people think ICANN, the IETF, and the RIRs
>> are multistakholder organizations. To the extent that is true, it's
>> revealing, because they work in very different ways. Most of the RIRs
>> have some notion of membership, usually relating to whether one holds
>> allocations from the region. Moreover, the RIRs are already
>> implicitly tied to geography (itself a problematic notion on the
>> Internet). ICANN has constituencies, and one nominally works through
>> those consituencies, though of course public comment is widely
>> welcome. The IETF does not have formal consituencies or membership,
>> and anyone is welcome to comment on anything on the mailing list, but
>> one tends to be ignored if one's arguments don't get support or at
>> least acknowledgement from others.
>> What seems to me to be a common thread among these things, however, is
>> that the mechanisms are different adaptations to trying to get as many
>> relevant and informed opinions into the "tussle" about tricky
>> problems. In this sense, the precise definition is less important, I
>> think, than the style of working. So,
>>>> Those MS processes aren't about power, but largely about which ideas
>>>> are better than others […].
>> I think this is where we should concentrate.
> I agree with the above and also note that talking about
> the pros and cons and (im)perfections of the multistakeholder
> approaches of specific organisations tends to be tractable
> and seems to lead to sensible discussion, whereas as soon
> as we talk about MSism in the abstract we're quickly off
> into the weeds.
> So I'd suggest: let's not do that:-)
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