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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Membership Issues Announce: Call for Papers on ICANN Elections
    posted by michael on Monday March 26 2001, @03:25PM

    Hans Klein is organizing a Symposium Issue of INFO to be entitled "GLOBAL DEMOCRACY AND THE ICANN ELECTIONS". Inside we reprint the Call For Papers -- which asks many of the key questions, notably, What does it mean to have a global demos? Who are "citizens"? What is the basis for voting rights, if not state citizenship? What is the source of a global institution's legitimacy? Must it be democracy? Are there alternative sources of legitimacy?

    If interested, note that abstracts are due by April 6. Of course, people who don't want to wait until August to share their answers to these questions can always post them here...

    Call for Papers: Symposium Issue of _INFO_
    The Internet has provided us with a first experiment in global democracy. In the year 2000 there took place the first on-line worldwide election for the governing board of a global institution: the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN, whose policy decisions for the Internet's core technical resources affect users around the world, held an open election for five of its nineteen governing directors. The election was hotly contested and featured candidates with sharply divergent platforms; overall some 170,000 Internet users from around the world participated.

    This historical event touches on larger issues of globalization and democracy. Accompanying globalization has been a growing debate over the desirability and feasibility of global democratic governance. Although many observers acknowledge that regional and global institutions like the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Union make values-based decisions affecting the lives of people around the world, there is considerable disagreement about how to render those institutions and their decisions more legitimate.

    It might seem that legitimacy in global governance should derive from the same source as legitimacy in other policy arenas: democracy. Some form of popular participation combined with majoritarian decision-making could render global institutions accountable to those who are affected by them. Yet there is no consensus among either policymakers or scholars about the desirability or feasibility of global democracy. Some scholars, including Dahl (1999) and Keohane and Nye (2000), doubt that such arrangements are possible; others, e.g. Held (1999), are more optimistic.

    Scholarly Perspective
    The ICANN elections offer social scientists a rare opportunity to study
    democracy in global governance.  Many of the theoretical issues identified
    by scholars arose in the ICANN elections, such as:   
    * What does it mean to have a global demos?  Who are "citizens"?  What is
    the basis for voting rights, if not state citizenship?
    * What is the source of a global institution's legitimacy?  Must it be
    democracy?  Are there alternative sources of legitimacy?
    * What perspectives do global voters bring to decision-making that might
    otherwise be absent?  What are the substantive implications of democracy?
    * How does global participation compare to smaller-scale democratic
    processes, such as participatory technology design?  Are smaller
    experiences "scalable"?  
    Policy Perspective
    ICANN's At Large Membership Study Committee (ALMSC) is leading a study
    effort on the ICANN elections.  The ALMSC has posed a series of questions
    to the public:
    * How should an ICANN 'At Large Member' be defined?
    * What stake would 'At Large Members' have in the Internet domain names,
    numbers, and protocol identifier system?
    * What processes and structures should be established within ICANN for At
    Large Member involvement? 
    To address such issues, a peer-reviewed symposium edition of the journal
    _INFO_ is planned for summer 2001.  Contributions are solicited from
    scholars in public policy, law, and communications as well as policymakers
    working on ICANN-related topics. Contributors will examine the ICANN
    elections in order to gain insight into general issues in global democratic
    Possible contributors include (this list is not definitive):
    * Jonathan Weinberg, Wayne State University (Law)
    * Eliesh O'Neil Lane, Georgia Institute of Technology (Public Policy)
    * Myungkoo Kang, Seoul National University (Communications)
    * Emerson Tiller, University of Texas (Business)
    * Jeanette Hoffman, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (Sociology)
    * Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, University of Aarhus (Communications)
    * Hans Klein, Georgia Institute of Technology (Public Policy)
    Articles in the symposium will scholarly in nature.  However, the timetable
    proposed here is compressed in order to coincide with the schedule of
    ICANN's ALMSC.  This symposium is intended to make a contribution to
    on-going policy debates.
    The proposed timetable is:
        April 6    Abstract submission deadline 
        May   30   Paper submission deadline 
        June  21   Peer-review complete
        July  11   Final manuscripts due
        August     Publication in INFO
    Web Site and Mailing List
    SYMPOSIUM WEB SITE:    http://www.icannmembers.org/symposium
    WEB SITE FOR _INFO_:   http://www.camfordpublishing.com 
    ICANN STUDY COMMITTEE: http://www.atlargestudy.org
    EMAIL LIST for contributors: to be established
    The editor of this sympoisum is:
    Hans Klein 
    Assistant Professor of Public Policy
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Atlanta, GA 30332-0345  USA
    Tel: +1 404-894-2258
    Fax: +1 404-894-0535
    Email: hans.klein@pubpolicy.gatech.edu

    * Dahl, Robert, "Can International Organizations Be Democratic? A Skeptic's View" in Shapiro, Ian, and Hacker-Cordon, Casiano, eds., Democracy's Edges (Cambridge, 1999)
    * Held, David, "The Transformation of Political Community: Rethinking Democracy in the context of Globalization" in Shapiro and Casiano, eds.
    * Keohane, Robert, and Nye, Joseph, "The Club Model of Multilateral Cooperation and Problems of Democratic Legitimacy." Paper prepared for the American Political Science Convention, September 2000.

    Abstract Submission
    Please submit abstracts by April 6 to hans.klein@pubpolicy. Information will be posted at http://www.icannmembers.org/symposium.

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