|Multi-Stakeholder Public Policy Governance and its Application to the Internet Governance Forum|
One problem that transnational democratic theory does not resolve is how to extend the limited range of decisions upon which agreement can be reached, given that freedom of exit from a governance network provides an in-built check on its power to oppress its stakeholders. That is, because its authority is non-binding, stakeholders can simply ignore or avoid the dictates of a governance network that do not accord with the democratic principle of consent. As Rosenau puts it,
governance is a system of rule that only works if it is accepted by the majority (or, at least, by the most powerful of those it affects), whereas governments can function even in the face of widespread opposition to their policies.
Whilst this characteristic of governance networks is well aligned with the most basic principle of democratic governance—that of the consent of the governed—it may also be inclined to splinter an ideologically and culturally diverse network into smaller, more agreeable but also more homogeneous groups, unless there were some other mechanism to hold the larger network together.
In the discussion of open source software, it was suggested that transaction costs could serve this purpose, and that those transaction costs would be the higher, the greater the social capital that the governance network had developed, making it relatively more attractive to its stakeholders than alternative mechanisms or fora of governance.
It is possible to go further and say that social capital is the defining attribute of a successful network, as such success is measured by its ability to coordinate mutually beneficial collective action (or MBCA) among its stakeholders, which is effectively the “income” that social capital returns. In order to maximise the range of decisions that a democratic governance network such as the IGF might make, the long-term value of its social capital to its stakeholders, and thus the transaction costs of defecting from it to alternative fora, should be high enough to persuade them to voluntarily abide by and implement the network’s decisions even when they go against their own short-term interests.
How, then, may social capital be cultivated within a governance network, in order to achieve this end? One of the most important factors is the inculcation of norms that reinforce voluntary participation in the activities of the network, with the expectation that this will be reciprocated by other stakeholders to the common benefit. These norms of cooperation in turn depend upon the stakeholders being institutionally empowered to participate in governance through the network. As suggested in the discussion of open source software, but as research also confirms, there is a strong positive link between empowerment and participation, which is simply to state the perhaps obvious point that in order to encourage the participation of stakeholders in democratic or consensual governance, they must be able to see that their participation can influence the outcome.
Institutionalising the empowerment of stakeholders can also foster the development of an environment in which stakeholders trust each other to reciprocate the participation they each contribute to the governance network, resulting in a “virtuous circle” (or conversely, avoiding a vicious circle) that encourages their continued and enhanced participation in turn. Ironically, experience from open source software development suggests that it is counter-productive to pay stakeholders for their participation in the network, because this will only demotivate those who participate voluntarily in the knowledge that others are doing the same.
Although these instrumental benefits may seem reason enough to empower stakeholders to participate in democratic governance, to do so is defensible on the broader theoretical basis that it better fulfils the democratic principle of consent (hence the title of this subsection of the thesis). Recall that democracy is a means rather than an end for the liberal, the end being a form of governance that permits the smallest possible encroachment upon individual liberty. Thus for the liberal, a democracy in which everyone’s views are heard and taken into consideration in more than just a token way, is simply a better democracy than one in which only the majority participates.
However the gulf between this ideal and the way democracy most often works in practice is quite wide. Conventionally, decisions made by the simple aggregation of preferences through representative democratic procedures can be quite arbitrary. Even without infringing upon any citizen’s human rights, the majority’s decision could still be entirely capricious and unreasoned. Although generally some deliberation takes place in representative fora (such as parliaments), at the level of broadest democratic participation (such as the ballot box), no reasons need be presented at all. Many voters may lack the time or inclination to assimilate all the information they need to even form a reasoned position, and it may be entirely rational for them, individually, not to do so.
This illustrates a practical tension between developing a democratic polity in which a large number of stakeholders are directly involved, and one in which the decisions they make are the product of reasoned deliberation—something of a trade-off between “quantity and quality.” Yet in fact these are not the end-points of a continuum, but rather variables. Although the forms of democratic governance cannot be neatly plotted against these variables in a tabular or matrix form, the chart below is a limited attempt to visualise their relationship, showing various forms and conceptions of democratic governance, the number of participants generally involved, the degree to which they involve greater or lesser deliberation, and the other forms or conceptions with which they intersect.
Although this chart by no means includes all major forms or conceptions of democratic governance, it does demonstrate for example that representative democracy can result in well reasoned decisions, but that these are the result of the deliberations of very few, and that at the other extreme direct democracy can involve the entire demos, but typically with a low level of deliberation.
Potentially rating highly on both variables is deliberative democracy, which is to be discussed below, and which intersects at its apex with transnational democracy (illustrating the theoretical case in which deliberative democratic principles are institutionalised at all levels of transnational democratic governance). Preceding that discussion and by way of drawing a contrast to it, a more conventional conception of democratic governance will be described: that of participatory democracy.
Participatory or collaborative democracy is that in which the process of policy development by a representative democratic decision-making body, but not the final decision-making process itself, is open to the reception of direct input from all stakeholders, in a process known as consultation or dialogue. This is already a matter of practice for most domestic governments, and a matter of legal obligation for some others, and traditionally takes place through the reception of written submissions and the holding of open public hearings.
As the participants in such processes are usually self-selected, opportunities for public participation in policy making are generally advertised through the media, though briefings to known interest groups may also be initiated by government (a feature of so-called pluralist democracy).
A number of civil society and private sector organisations are involved in advancing the cause of participatory democracy, putting forward principles or providing services by which consultation can be made more effective. Such organisations from civil society include the United States-based Centre for Collaborative Policy, and those from the private sector include Dialogue by Design and Citizen Space.
At an intergovernmental level, participatory democracy has most notably been promoted by the OECD in a publication which distinguishes three levels of citizen engagement in government: information, consultation and active participation. Of these, the first level, information provision, does not qualify as participatory democracy as it is described here, as it does not involve any element of participation on the citizens’ part.
The second and third levels, consultation and active participation, describe a continuum which extends from participatory democracy of a purely formal kind, through to the use of the deliberative democratic techniques described at Section 184.108.40.206 (subject to the proviso that “responsibility for the final decision or policy formulation rests with government”—which may or may not be consistent with the deliberative democratic programme, depending on how accountable the government is for the consideration of the citizens’ input through institutionalised political processes.)
Drawing on these principles, both the OECD, and Australia’s AGIMO, have drafted sets of guidelines for effectively conducting public consultations online. AGIMO has applied these principles in proposing the introduction of an Australian Government Consultation Blog, which unlike the Commonwealth government’s current public consultations Web site, could enable respondents not only to present their own views, but also to deliberate upon and debate the views of others (though without necessarily being empowered to actively shape government policy).
Consistent with this at a State level is a Victorian report on Electronic Democracy that recommended that “online consultation should allow citizen-to-citizen communication, moderated only to prevent incidence of defamation or legal risk,” though this recommendation has not been implemented to date.
Deliberative democracy takes this notion of citizen-to-citizen communication further. It is concerned with citizens exercising their votes (or otherwise engaging in democratic decision-making processes) in a considered manner that reflects their reasoned deliberations formed during engagement with other citizens on the issue at hand. Thus where direct democracy fails because its ability to produce reasoned decisions is predicated upon the existence of a more well-informed citizenry than exists in practice, and representative democracy cannot, even in theory, fairly represent the interests of all citizens (and in practice best represents those of powerful elites), deliberative democracy aims to remedy both those deficiencies, resulting in closer adherence to the democratic principle of consent.
The notion of a deliberative democracy is rooted in the intuitive ideal of a democratic association in which the justification of the terms and conditions of association proceeds through public argument and reasoning among equal citizens. Citizens in such an order share a commitment to the resolution of problems of collective choice through public reasoning, and regard their basic institutions as legitimate in so far as they establish the framework for free public deliberation.
He suggests a set of four criteria by which a system of democratic governance can be compared against the deliberative democratic ideal:
It should be free; that is, participants should not be constrained either in considering proposals, or in implementing them once agreed, by external claims of authority.
It should be reasoned, in that arguments should not be based upon force or unexamined preferences.
It should be equal, such that parties to the deliberation are identically placed both in procedural terms, and also in that their status outside the forum does not impinge upon consideration of their substantive contributions.
It should aim to achieve a rational consensus.
Some more insight into what deliberative democracy is may be obtained from distinguishing it from some of those things that it is not:
Unlike participatory democracy it is concerned with decision-making rather than simply understanding; however the dialogue that participatory democracy fosters can be a preliminary stage to deliberation.
On the other hand unlike direct democracy, deliberative democracy is concerned not only with decision-making, but also with opinion formation.
At the other extreme, a democracy concerned only with opinion formation, as a means of developing a community of civically virtuous citizens, would be an example of “developmental democracy”; a species of civic republicanism from which deliberative democracy should also be distinguished.
It may again be distinguished from “grass roots democracy” which holds that democracy is to be exercised at the lowest possible level. Whilst deliberative democratic procedures may be applied at the grass roots level, they are equally applicable within other layers of governance that may be further removed from the grass roots.
Similarly deliberative democracy is broader than empowered participatory governance, because to empower stakeholders with the authority to make decisions affecting them only fulfils one of “two key elements: giving community members the authority to make decisions and choices and facilitating the development of the knowledge and resources necessary to exercise these choices.” A distinguishing feature of deliberative democracy is its focus on the latter.
Finally in its focus on the refinement of preferences through reasoned deliberation, deliberative democracy also departs from rational choice theory, which tends to regard democratically-expressed preferences as relatively “stable and exogenous to the decision process, [whereas] deliberative democracy [regards them] as transformable and endogenous.”
Perhaps the most important corollary to the above criteria follows from the proposition that opinions cannot be shaped by force. This being so, any position contended for must be supported by reasons that appeal not just to the proposer but to all, or at least to a majority. This results in a tendency for democratic deliberation to be framed in terms of the common good, simply because a participant’s appeal solely to his own self-interest is unlikely to be successful in convincing others.
This bias away from arguments based on pure self-interest makes it important that the preferences of participants in the deliberative democratic process are open to reasoned adaptation in response to other viewpoints, and that such adaptation is not constrained by underlying power relations. This does not mean that participants may not privately hold preferences for selfish reasons, but simply that for these preferences to prevail will require others to be convinced of them (perhaps on quite different grounds), through no other force than that of reason.
To put this same proposition more starkly, it is the position of the deliberative democrat that a decision that “cannot arise from free reasoning among equals . ... is for that reason undemocratic.”
Habermas phrases the same concept slightly differently and terms it the “discourse principle”: that “just those norms deserve to be valid that could meet with the approval of those potentially affected, insofar as the latter participate in rational discourses.”
To give a concrete example of the effect of this principle, it might be that, if a majority of the citizens in a democratic polity were of Caucasian extraction, they would all privately prefer to receive preferential treatment in taxation or social services than citizens of other racial backgrounds. Yet as it would be difficult for them to justify such discriminatory treatment as policy through the use of public reason, the measure would would be less likely to pass into law in a deliberative democracy than in (for example) a direct democracy in which public deliberation was not required.
Effectively, deliberative democracy thus resolves the tension between the filter and the mirror conceptions of representative democracy. It is no longer necessary in order to overcome ill-informed populism for the people to cede authority to a sagacious elite whose task it is to filter their raw, uninformed preferences to reveal a kernel of truth. Rather, deliberative democracy provides the people themselves with the opportunity to form more informed and public-spirited judgments before their preferences are counted.
It is this phenomenon, in which the act of public deliberation transforms the democratic process from something potentially quite arbitrary into an approximation to the liberal ideal, that makes the impossible (according to Arrow’s theorem) possible. Not only does the deliberative democratic process thus produce better (more reasoned) outcomes, but because it takes place through a process of open and equal public deliberation, its transparency and accountability are also of a high standard, which in turn contributes to the perceived legitimacy of its output and the breadth of that output’s acceptance.
Another feature of deliberative democracy is that it is not conceptually limited to the state, as prevalent models of electoral democracy are. First, there is no theoretical upper limit to the scale at which deliberative democratic principles can be applied; it can for example complement the existing international system, working across states within intergovernmental fora, as easily as it is applied at the domestic level.
Second, its focus on deliberation renders the quixotic endeavour to achieve numerically proportional representation in transnational fora less central. More important is to ensure that all relevant perspectives are considered, and in fact for this purpose it may in some cases be necessary to specifically engineer disproportional representation of particularly affected or otherwise marginalised groups (thus, deliberative democracy sits firmly within the substantive democratic paradigm). An example is provided in the case of Australia’s deliberative poll on reconciliation which is to be described below, in which Aboriginal stakeholders were provided greater than proportional representation.
Although deliberation can (and occasionally does) take place within the existing institutions of representative democracy, a more ambitious deliberative democratic program that coincides with the program of transnational democracy is that the ideals of decision-making through the public use of reason should be extended from the “organs of governments to every active, state-related organization.” This would require that appropriate conditions exist within (or perhaps alongside) each of those organisations to enable such deliberation to take place.
In an idealised historical European context, such conditions were according to Habermas exemplified by the coffee-houses of eighteenth-century London, which provided fora within which a broad range of participants could engage with one another, exchanging and comparing their various perspectives on social and political issues of the day. Habermas describes such fora collectively as “the public sphere”; “a communication structure rooted in the lifeworld through the associational network of civil society.”
It perhaps goes without saying that today’s Starbucks does not provide quite the same facility for public deliberation that the eighteenth century coffee houses may have done. Yet the existence of an effective public sphere within which social issues can be debated, springing from civil society and permeating each of the layers of democratic governance, could provide the basis for the extension of deliberative democratic principles on a transnational basis.
Whilst there is no such public sphere in the international system as it exists, the conditions of developing one sufficient to support transnational deliberative democracy can be stated in five points:
As Dryzek notes consistently with the views of Habermas, “a flourishing civil society provides both a resource for future democratization of the state and a check against reversal of the state’s democratic commitments.” In this context, suggestions that activity in civil society is not in fact flourishing but withering are of potential concern.
It has already been noted that both civil and political rights, as well as economic and social rights, are required to be observed within organs of governance in order to satisfy the conditions of substantive democracy. At least according to Habermas, the superadded requirements of deliberative democracy call for the separate protection of “rights to equal opportunities to participate in processes of opinion- and will-formation in which citizens exercise their political autonomy and through which they generate legitimate law.”
Appropriate institutional constructs are also needed in order to give effect to these rights to the public use of communicative freedom. This is done within a democratic state by enshrining them in law, or more particularly as noted above from Kant, in constitutional law. Thus institutionalising the procedures of deliberative democracy dispenses with the need for individual actors within the system to deliberately uphold others’ public communicative rights, because they have been “hard-coded” into the political system.
What should the content of these institutional constructs be? More than one option exists, but the least ambitious within the context of the liberal democratic state amounts to “a public sphere based in civil society with the opinion- and will-formation institutionalized in parliamentary bodies and courts.” In such a system, citizens have influence over public policy development through the public sphere, but direct political power is reserved to accountable and transparent parliamentary and judicial institutions. This separation between deliberation and the ultimate decision-making power of the state encourages participants in deliberation to do so freely and with open minds.
A responsible mass media is one important means by which to manage the availability of information to participants in public deliberations. For the deliberative model to be effective, participants should be presented with “a wide range of alternative views supported by sincere arguments and reasonably accurate information.” In many cases, the participants themselves will generate these arguments by contributing from their own knowledge and experience. However, depending on the composition of the group (including its professional, cultural and gender composition), it may be that the viewpoints of all affected participants are not being voiced, and that not all relevant factual material is being heard. The media is one mechanism through which these deficiencies can be addressed.
Finally there must be a mechanism by which public opinion generated within civil society can be put on the public agenda to be formally considered and implemented within the political arena. Tools of direct democracy such as the initiative, and of participatory democracy such as open public hearings and the solicitation of public submissions by parliamentary committees and agencies, can be drawn upon here. However, in order to avoid the biases inherent in the usual self-selection of contributors to such processes, a pro-active programme of outreach should be undertaken to draw in viewpoints from the public sphere that would otherwise go unheard.
These five conditions for the realisation of deliberative democracy within existing organs of governance through an empowered public sphere, make somewhat stronger normative claims upon the democratic process than arise from classical liberal democratic theory (though weaker than those arising from civic republicanism). Indeed, some scholars have proposed additional conditions that have not been included here, such as the requirement of Rawls that those engaged in the use of public reason act with civility to one another.
Similarly Picciotto, one of the few scholars who has combined the studies of transnational and deliberative democracy, adds a condition of responsibility, which he defines as the means by which participants in deliberation and debate fulfil the democratic norms attaching to those processes, for example by adhering to relevant ethical, professional and scientific standards of discourse; a “deontology of deliberation.”
In any case, it has already been noted that even the above five conditions do not yet exist in the international system. However this does not render the foregoing discussion a purely abstract and aspirational exercise, as it may still be possible to realise those same or similar conditions at a lower layer of governance. Most research in this area has been directed to the case of the domestic political system.
The dominant paradigm of participatory governance at the domestic level is the public consultation model of participatory democracy. Hence these new frameworks for deliberative democracy, in which all stakeholders subject their perspectives to the light of public reason in working towards a joint decision, are designed to supplant older processes by which self-selected activists seek to influence governance processes taking place at higher levels. The change of paradigm is significant enough that most of these deliberative democratic frameworks are still only used experimentally, and with a few exceptions to be discussed below, not widely institutionalised in government.
Since there is no single template by which deliberative democratic norms can be institutionalised domestically, four major institutional frameworks for deliberative democracy will be dealt with here. These are the 21st Century Town Meeting, Deliberative Polling, the citizens’ jury and its close variants, and speed exchanges. Although there are a number of others in use, most of these are variations or hybrids of one or more of these four popular methods, which themselves share a number of common elements.
The 21st Century Town Meeting®, developed by AmericaSpeaks, was inspired by the traditional New England town meeting. It is a large scale forum of hundreds or thousands of citizens who meet face to face in small table groups. All groups are provided with background material to read covering the issues under consideration in a balanced manner, and the meeting at large also hears presentations on these issues from experts. Each group is assisted by a trained facilitator to discuss the issues, and once it has formed a view on them, relays this to the meeting at large through networked laptop computers and voting keypads. The views expressed most strongly by table groups form the basis for a set of recommendations upon which the group as a whole votes, with the results being declared before the participants leave.
Although to date 21st Century Town Meetings have taken place only within the United States, they have been perhaps more enthusiastically adopted by government than any other method of democratic deliberation, with hundreds of meetings having been held across 31 states since 1997. The “Listening to the City” event at which the future for the site of the former World Trade Center in New York was discussed is one high profile example of a successful 21st Century Town Meeting.
Deliberative Polling®, the product of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, is another large-scale exercise in which a random sample of citizens is selected to take part in a preliminary opinion poll and to receive background briefing materials on an issue. They then come together and are divided into smaller groups to discuss the issue in depth, assisted by a facilitator. Questions from individual groups are put to experts in plenary sessions. The groups then deliberate again and at the conclusion, are polled once more. The strength of this method is that by polling before and after the event, the effect of the deliberative process can be gauged.
As at 2008 Deliberative Polling has been successfully conducted in ten countries including Australia, and across the European Union. Australia’s first Deliberative Poll was held by Issues Deliberation Australia preceding the 1999 referendum on whether Australia should become a republic. Following deliberation the preconceptions of participants were altered dramatically. A second poll held in 2001 on Aboriginal reconciliation, and a third in 2007 on Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia, resulted in similar dramatic shifts. A distinction of the 2001 poll was that Aboriginal representatives were provided with greater than proportional representation amongst the otherwise randomly-selected participants, in order to ensure that all of the smaller groups had direct access to Aboriginal perspectives.
The third method to be noted here is the citizens’ jury (or planning cell). This is a random group of citizens chosen much like a jury and of similar size, who are presented with a range of expert opinions on the issue in question, and given time to deliberate on them privately. This usually takes place over a period of a few days. Citizens’ juries or planning cells have been used in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia. The method’s main weakness against most of its alternatives is its small size, and thus weaker claim to represent a diverse cross-section of views.
A citizens’ assembly is much the same as a citizens’ jury, but typically of a larger size. These have been successfully used in Canada, with an Ontario Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform of 103 members reporting in 2007, following a similar assembly of 161 members from British Columbia that reported in 2004. A standing citizens assembly, also on electoral reform, concluded in the Netherlands in 2006.
A consensus conference is very similar again, except that it takes place on a still larger scale, potentially also over a longer period, and that those who attend are given greater control over the agenda and the choice of experts who are called. These are widely used in Denmark, and has also been trialled in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Australia’s first large scale consensus conference, convened by the Australian Museum, was held on the topic of Gene Technology in the Food Chain in 1999. As in the case of the two Deliberative Polls, the consensus conference was nationally televised. Although the lay panel’s report was not formally received by the Commonwealth government, shortly after it was released the government established Biotechnology Australia largely in conformity with some of the panel’s recommendations.
The final method of democratic deliberation to be briefly outlined here is the speed exchange or speed dialogue, a technique developed by the American Bar Association. It differs from the other methods discussed above in two respects: that it is not usually used as a decision-making tool, and that so far it has been used in an intergovermental rather than a governmental context; namely by the ITU. However it is worthy of discussion here because of the brief period for which it was included on the agenda for the second meeting of the IGF in Rio.
Speed dialogues have much in common with the 21st Century Town Meeting, in that they are conducted in table groups, each of which is equipped with a flip chart and staffed by an expert moderator. The main distinction is that each table group generally discusses a different issue (or a different facet of a given issue), and has a limited time period in which to do so; 20 minutes, in the ITU’s implementation of the process.
After the expiration of this time period, table groups rotate, so that by the close of the session, all participants have deliberated upon all of the issues that were set for the group’s deliberation. The moderators of each table group then summarise the discussion and any areas of agreement that were reached, for the consideration of the meeting at large.
Apart from the strong support of the Danish government for consensus conferences, state support for the practice of deliberative democracy has been less forthcoming. Most of the research into and promotion of deliberative democratic techniques has come from civil society.
In Australia, neither of the three Deliberative Polls nor the consensus conference was government organised. At a state level, the Western Australian government has shown the greatest resolve to make use of deliberative forms of citizen participation, having experimented at an executive level with the use of 21st Century Town Meetings, Deliberative Polling and Citizens’ Juries. The Dialogue with the City for example, held by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure in 2003 and reportedly “the biggest interactive consultation ever held in the southern hemisphere,” incorporated a 21st Century Town Meeting attended by 1100 participants.
To conclude the present review of deliberative democracy, it remains to consider how deliberative processes may be institutionalised at layers of governance other than those of the state and the civil society public sphere. These include layers constituted by the governance of private sector or civil society organisations such as Microsoft and the IETF respectively, and that of networks such as the IGF.
Taking the case of private sector organisations first, a starting point is found in the literature on “participative-democratic” forms of organisation design. This illustrates the potential for companies to adopt structures such as that of Rensis Likert’s System 4 organisation, in which the communicative freedom of their staff is institutionally upheld, in broad concordance with deliberative democratic principles.
However it is a limited conception of the democratic principle that considers a corporation to have obtained “the consent of the governed” merely by extending the power of governance from its owners to its staff. A broader conception of the democratic principle that looks to all those significantly affected by a decision requires yet other stakeholders to be considered, including the corporation’s customers, and the public at large.
Although at variance with early established principles of corporate law, this is no longer a revolutionary concept. Now known as “corporate social responsibility” or CSR, it was as long ago as 1943 that it was embodied in the corporate credo of Johnson & Johnson, which explicitly put customers first, employees second, the community third, and shareholders fourth and last.
There are a number of strategies by which companies seeking to fulfil their corporate social responsibility can empower stakeholders to participate in decisions of the company that affect their interests, not all of which could be described as deliberatively democratic. Even those that could, do not much resemble the models by which deliberative democracy is pursued in the public sector. As Parker puts it,
Making corporations democratically accountable is not simply about copying public institutions of representative democracy within the corporate microcosm .... Rather, the challenge is to understand the norms of democracy and then to create new institutions for applying them to the unique world of corporate enterprise.
She goes on to suggest three best practice guidelines by which deliberative democracy can be institutionalised within the corporation:
to draw on the cultures, values and self-identities of employees to build organisational integrity;
to consult with legitimate external stakeholders to introduce their perspectives into the decision-making process, then to report back to them and allow them to challenge those decisions once made; and
to integrate into the company’s management systems the means to inform itself of, learn from, and respond to its social and legal responsibilities.
Similarly in civil society organisations, the prevalent governance structures, in this instance often based around the strictures of Robert’s Rules of Order, are being challenged by newer, less divisive and more collaborative models that are more consistent with deliberative democratic principles. One example of these is Gastil’s model of small group democracy, which defines it by reference to five characteristics, most of which can be traced back to other conceptions of deliberative democracy discussed above:
Group power (which essentially incorporates the same conditions as Picciotto’s “empowerment”);
Inclusiveness (that all those significantly affected by the group’s decisions are invited to participate; this condition is derived from Dahl’s conception of the appropriate constitution of the demos discussed at Section 4.3.1);
Commitment to the democratic process (a condition also found in Cohen’s conception of deliberative democracy);
Relationships between group members (whereby members acknowledge each other’s individuality and competence, recognise the mutuality of the group, and act in a congenial manner to each other—which as noted above Rawls specified as a requirement of the exercise of public reason); and
Deliberation (which describes the rights and responsibilities of both speakers and listeners in the deliberative process).
As for governance networks such as the IGF, the most appropriate structure may be based on that of this small group model, or on the private sector, the domestic political, or the public sphere models, or a hybrid of one or more of these, depending on the network’s size, extent and composition. It is unnecessary to be too prescriptive about the appropriate structure of a deliberative democratic IGF at this point, at least until Chapter 6 when the IGF’s present structure and composition are outlined.
It is more important however to have settled upon some essential principles of deliberative democracy that can be applied in various circumstances through a variety of implementations, than to find the blueprint for an implementation that is equally applicable across all organs of governance. Lacking such a blueprint, the closest approximation to the transnational democratic programme that can reasonably be pursued in the short term, and the most effective in furthering the democratic principle, is to simultaneously implement separate strategies for the deliberative democratisation of all appropriate domestic, international and transnational governance fora, by various techniques all drawing from the common underlying principles discussed in this section.
A corollary of this pragmatically heterogeneous approach is that the adoption of a deliberative democratic organisation structure for a governance network such as the IGF need not await the development of an international public sphere (essentially the “transnational demos” whose absence was earlier assumed to preclude the adoption of a democratic organisation structure for a transnational governance network). Rather, deliberative democratic theory equips such governance networks to pursue the democratic principle here and now, by pursuing a variety of strategies to draw in all affected viewpoints and perspectives and subject them to the transformative power of dialogue.
For example, consider the factions into which the WTO is effectively divided: see Section 220.127.116.11.
See Section 18.104.22.168.
Though for one attempt see Fishkin, J S, Virtual Democratic Possibilities: Prospects for Internet Democracy (2000), 12
Carson, Lyn, Innovative Consultation Processes and the Changing Role of Activism (2001); Government of Western Australia, e-Engagement: Guidelines For Community Engagement Using Information And Communications Technology (ICT) (2005) , 11
Though is still a vital component of democratic transparency, to be discussed at Section 4.3.3.
See Section 22.214.171.124.
Cohen, Joshua, Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy (1989), 22–23; Cohen, Joshua, Democracy and Liberty (1998) , 194, and compare the eight criteria of Coleman at Coleman, Stephen & Gøtze, John, Bowling Together: Online Public Engagement in Policy Deliberation (2001), 5.
Or at least, decision-shaping; see Section 6.2.1.
Habermas, Jürgen, Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996), 127. In fact, for Habermas it is specifically in the discourse principle, rather than the democratic principle, that the legitimacy of a democratic society that upholds popular sovereignty and fundamental human rights is founded: Habermas, Jürgen, Three Normative Models of Democracy (1998) .
Though the extent to which even they ever did so has been questioned, since they excluded many potential participants on the grounds of class and gender: Fraser, Nancy, Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy (1990).
Habermas, Jürgen, Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996), 371. Rawls however would disagree, as he excludes deliberation within civil society from his conception of public reason: Rawls, John, Political Liberalism (1993) , 213, 220.
Habermas, Jürgen, Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996), 123 (emphasis in original).
Particular examples of how this ideal can be applied in practice will be discussed at Section 126.96.36.199.
Rawls, John, Political Liberalism (1993), 217–218; to which Dryzek has responded, “deliberative democracy is not an exclusive gentlemen’s club”: Dryzek, John S, Deliberative Democracy and Beyond (2002) , 169.
Picciotto, Sol, Democratizing Globalism (2001), 349. Picciotto also (at 344) recognises conditions of transparency, accountability, and empowerment, which will be left aside here since transparency and accountability, although important in deliberative democratic structures, are equally important in other democratic structures, and hence will be dealt with separately in the following section, whereas empowerment essentially subsumes the second, third and particularly the fifth conditions already outlined above.
AmericaSpeaks, a non-profit organisation active in this area (see http://www.americaspeaks.org/), has listed eight presently used in the United States: Goldman, Joe & Torres, Lars H, Approaches to Face-to-Face Deliberation in the US (2004).
Support for the republic increased from 53 to 73 percent, support for a directly elected President dropped from 50 to 19 percent, and those who believed the President should be non-political rose from 53 to 88 percent: Fishkin, J S, Consulting the Public Through Deliberative Polling (2003).
Snider, J H, Citizens Assemblies: A Mechanism for Enhancing Legislative Transparency and Accountability (2007). Its Web site at http://www.burgerforumkiesstelsel.nl/ was not accessible as at February 2008, but an archived version can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20070716172416/http://www.burgerforumkiesstelsel.nl/.
Most organisations active in this area are members of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (see http://www.deliberative-democracy.net/). Lyn Carson is an Australian researcher who has also instigated a number of projects in this field: see http://www.activedemocracy.net/.
See Parke v Daily News Ltd  Ch 927