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Global digital democracy Slide 1 Global digital democracy Slide 2 Global digital democracy Slide 3 Global digital democracy Slide 4 Global digital democracy Slide 5 Global digital democracy Slide 6 Global digital democracy Slide 7 Global digital democracy Slide 8 Global digital democracy Slide 9 Global digital democracy Slide 10 Global digital democracy Slide 11 Global digital democracy Slide 12 Global digital democracy Slide 13 Global digital democracy Slide 14 Global digital democracy Slide 15 Global digital democracy Slide 16 Global digital democracy Slide 17 Global digital democracy Slide 18 Global digital democracy Slide 19 Global digital democracy Slide 20 Global digital democracy Slide 21 Global digital democracy Slide 22 Global digital democracy Slide 23 Global digital democracy Slide 24 Global digital democracy Slide 25 Global digital democracy Slide 26 Global digital democracy Slide 27 Global digital democracy Slide 28 Global digital democracy Slide 29 Global digital democracy Slide 30 Global digital democracy Slide 31 Global digital democracy Slide 32 Global digital democracy Slide 33 Global digital democracy Slide 34 Global digital democracy Slide 35 Global digital democracy Slide 36 Global digital democracy Slide 37 Global digital democracy Slide 38 Global digital democracy Slide 39 Global digital democracy Slide 40 Global digital democracy Slide 41 Global digital democracy Slide 42 Global digital democracy Slide 43 Global digital democracy Slide 44 Global digital democracy Slide 45 Global digital democracy Slide 46 Global digital democracy Slide 47 Global digital democracy Slide 48 Global digital democracy Slide 49 Global digital democracy Slide 50 Global digital democracy Slide 51 Global digital democracy Slide 52 Global digital democracy Slide 53 Global digital democracy Slide 54 Global digital democracy Slide 55 Global digital democracy Slide 56 Global digital democracy Slide 57 Global digital democracy Slide 58 Global digital democracy Slide 59 Global digital democracy Slide 60 Global digital democracy Slide 61 Global digital democracy Slide 62 Global digital democracy Slide 63 Global digital democracy Slide 64 Global digital democracy Slide 65 Global digital democracy Slide 66 Global digital democracy Slide 67 Global digital democracy Slide 68 Global digital democracy Slide 69 Global digital democracy Slide 70 Global digital democracy Slide 71 Global digital democracy Slide 72 Global digital democracy Slide 73 Global digital democracy Slide 74 Global digital democracy Slide 75 Global digital democracy Slide 76 Global digital democracy Slide 77 Global digital democracy Slide 78 Global digital democracy Slide 79 Global digital democracy Slide 80 Global digital democracy Slide 81 Global digital democracy Slide 82 Global digital democracy Slide 83 Global digital democracy Slide 84 Global digital democracy Slide 85 Global digital democracy Slide 86 Global digital democracy Slide 87 Global digital democracy Slide 88 Global digital democracy Slide 89 Global digital democracy Slide 90 Global digital democracy Slide 91 Global digital democracy Slide 92 Global digital democracy Slide 93 Global digital democracy Slide 94 Global digital democracy Slide 95 Global digital democracy Slide 96 Global digital democracy Slide 97 Global digital democracy Slide 98 Global digital democracy Slide 99 Global digital democracy Slide 100 Global digital democracy Slide 101 Global digital democracy Slide 102 Global digital democracy Slide 103 Global digital democracy Slide 104
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How digital communication creates the conditions for global democracy

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Global digital democracy

  1. Reimagining global democracy Joe Mitchell MA Global Governance research paper Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo
  2. a quick summary in three slides...
  3. Globalisation poses problems for democracy.
  4. The World Parliament response to this would struggle to be effective or legitimate.
  5. Instead, global democracy is likely to be realised by a decentralised and networked form of governance.
  6. A thirty-second history of global democracy
  7. 500BC A democratic system of governance is first recorded in Athens. Decisions are made by a show of hands – a unitary or direct democracy in which everyone takes part.
  8. A.D.1648 The inviolability of the ‘nation-state’ is created by the Treaty of Westphalia. Monarchs agree to recognise each others’ sovereignty. This locks down the global governance structure for 365 years, and counting.
  9. A.D.1795 In Perpetual Peace, Immanuel Kant proposes what becomes liberal orthodoxy: republican states, federated under international law, with one world citizenship law.
  10. ‘Originally, no one had more right than another to a particular part of the earth.’
  11. 1860s+ Political internationals unite labour activists across borders – an early global political movement. While they have some success, notably the eight- hour day, nationalism proves a stronger binding force, and the International collapses by 1914...
  12. 1918. 1945. The world wars are followed by grand changes to the international governance structure - always in the form of new institutions.
  13. 1945 ‘We the peoples of the United Nations...’ [not nations] Preamble to the United Nations Charter
  14. Postwar period The objective of world peace drives idealistic thinkers to consider world federalism. In the US, a ‘Sense of Congress’ motion is passed for ‘strengthening the UN and seeking its development into a world federation’.
  15. 1950s The Cold War kills that idea. McCarthy associates world federalists with communists.
  16. 60s, 70s, 80s So world federalism fails. But globalisation takes off: neoliberal economic ideas and powerful multinationals open up the world to market forces, encouraged by international financial institutions.
  17. 60s, 70s, 80s In three decades, the world sees the invention of satellite TV, Eurobonds, oil crises, special economic zones, booms in jet flights, international finance, shipping, and growing cultural hegemony...
  18. 1990s Growing concern about globalisation bursts into public consciousness at the ‘Battle of Seattle’ in 1999.
  19. 2011 A global financial crisis, high unemployment, and anger at political leaders results in revolutions and protests around the world.
  20. What is the problem?
  21. In the 21st century, policies must be sought to deal with climate change, economic shocks, pandemics, terrorism, financial risks, trade barriers, transnational crime (human trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering), poverty and inequality. The success and democratic nature of those policies can no longer be guaranteed by national institutions. Too many variables lie outside the scope of the nation state.
  22. “Everything has been globalized except our consent. Democracy alone has been confined to the nation state.” George Monbiot Author, Columnist
  23. “Ours is a world in which no individual, and no country, exists in isolation. Pollution, organized crime, and the proliferation of deadly weapons likewise show little regard for the niceties of borders; they are problems without passports... Kofi Annan (Then) UN Secretary General
  24. “designing effective and legitimate institutions is [the] crucial problem of political design for the twenty-first century” Joe Nye and Bob Keohane Professors at Harvard and Princeton
  25. What is the answer?
  26. One idea is global representative democracy – a logical next step from having a local representative, a national representative and, in some cases, a regional representative (as in Europe, and proposed in South America and Africa).
  27. There’s already a Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly – and the idea has support from the European and African Parliaments.
  28. But could a system of representatives really be democratic for 7bn people?
  29. 1. How would such an assembly be elected? A location-based constituency, repeating the national system? Party lists? Global political parties?
  30. 2. How could such a parliament remain close to the people? How could it deal with the complexity of global policy? How could it possibly represent all views?
  31. 3. Is a hierarchical structure – in which votes flow upwards and decisions flow downwards - best for global democracy?
  32. 4. Do existing representative democracy institutions work satisfactorily? Does the European Parliament democratise European governance?
  33. Advocates of global democracy should abandon domestic analogies. Instead, they should imagine a ‘non-centralised, non- territorial, non-exclusive system’ of governance. Heikki Patomaki (adapted) Professor of World Politics, Helsinki
  34. What delivers such a ‘non-centralised, non-territorial, non-exclusive system’ of governance? Digital democracy.
  35. “Global democracy can only emerge from a ‘rupture’ in global society.” Richard Falk Prof. Emeritus of International Law, Princeton
  36. That rupture is the information revolution: a revolution in access to information and in transparency. It creates new possibilities of global participation, collaboration and co-creation.
  37. Global digital democracy doesn’t need a top down institution. Instead, it benefits from a flexible distribution of power.
  38. It’s global peer-to-peer governance.
  39. What do we talk about when we talk about democracy?
  40. Three foundations: 1. Free and open discussion and deliberation 2. Free and open participation in political processes 3. Political community – the ‘demos’ The Internet creates these at global level.
  41. 1. Internet as open global deliberation space
  42. “The first basic principle to ensure an inclusive, tolerant, respectful and decentralised world order is global deliberative equality” Anne-Marie Slaughter Professor of Politics, Princeton
  43. “Democracy is about communication as well as voting - about social learning as well as decision making. It is the communicative aspects that for the moment can most straightforwardly be pursued in the international system.” John Dryzek Professor of Social Theory and Political Theory, Australian National University
  44. 2.3bn have Internet access (ITU)
  45. 3G will cover 85% of the world’s population by 2017 (Ericsson)
  46. A perfect deliberative environment would be where everyone can access any information. And anyone can converse with anyone else. Where everyone has the power to produce information that can be shared instantaneously anywhere in the world.
  47. Huge population figures are a problem for representative democracy (and hierarchical organisations in general) – but they strengthen global deliberative networks, creating broader and deeper conversations.
  48. “Global democracy is only as good as global media” Johan Galtung Founder of Peace and Conflict Studies
  49. Western countries produce the vast majority of global information. English is the most popular language for books, journals, newspapers and film.
  50. As the Internet opens publishing, this is changing. Global information production is becoming broader.
  51. The microblogging platform Twitter shows examples of this. The next slide shows shows the location of tweets during one week of 2012.
  52. Russia USA UK Mexico Fr Italy Brazil Malaysia
  53. Jakarta Tokyo London Sao Paulo New York Bandung, Indonesia Paris Los Angeles Chicago Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Singapore Istanbui Osaka Toronto Madrid Rio de Janeiro Seoul Miami Atlanta Houston
  54. In their idealised* form, microblogs spread information meritocratically (with varying understandings of merit). Everyone has the same format to use, the same ability to mention others or repost others’ posts. *problems discussed later
  55. 2. Internet as open global participative space
  56. In existing democracies, deliberation happens in the media and in institutions like parliaments. Political representatives turn lobbying into law. Without a world parliament, how does debate turn into action?
  57. With no global government, global democracy has to be truly participative: people must collaborate digitally to deliver the projects they want to see. Three examples:
  58. ProMED-mail
  59. Global disease information used to be shared between governments via the World Health Organisation (WHO). But this meant that governments could hide embarrassing or trade- threatening outbreak information.
  60. ProMED-mail was a simple email list for epidemiology practitioners to share worldwide disease news, set up in 1994. It created a network of professionals who shared the latest disease information from across the world.
  61. As a result, the nation-state members had to change WHO’s rules to allow it to share non-state produced information. ProMED-mail ended a monopoly on disease information. It provides more people with access to better information, leading to a safer world.
  62. Sistema de Alerta de Desmatamento
  63. The Sistema de Alerta de Desmatamento (Deforestation Alert System) connects activists to monitor satellite data on rainforests. It has the potential to become a mass collaborative anti- deforestation effort with global benefits.
  64. The project was created by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO, now supported by Google. As Google’s lead mapper said: “a collaborative monitoring community, powered by the internet, [has] never been possible before.”
  65. Ushahidi
  66. Ushahidi (testimony or witness in Swahili) is a public monitoring platform that crowdsources its information. It was invented in Kenya to map election- related violence. Citizens could send SMS and email updates to be published on the map. It’s now in use for all kinds of projects across the world.
  67. This kind of conflict data used to be the preserve of intelligence agencies, the United Nations or national governments. Once anyone anywhere can use this platform to contribute information, power shifts to the information-producing public.
  68. All three examples are really about participative creation of knowledge. If knowledge is power, this matters. But what if you wanted to act on that knowledge? How does digital democracy result in participative solutions or service delivery? For example, the activists monitoring deforestation can’t actually do anything about its increase, right? Because digital collaboration doesn’t create enforcement mechanisms...
  69. Even this is changing. At one extreme there is digital vigilantism: the enforcement of global norms by private actors. ‘Anonymous’ hacked Israeli websites in response to the government’s threat to shut down Gaza’s internet access.
  70. Less drastically and with significantly more activity: offline commitments are inspired by digital networks. Digital communities are funding and supporting direct action around the globe. A range of new platforms is making this easier than ever.
  71. 3. Internet as creator of global democratic community:
  72. The classic ‘earthrise’ image is thought to have boosted ‘global’ movements. It helped people visualise themselves as members of one home – a single shared space, without borders.
  73. Now, with digital social networks, we can visualise not only the shared space, but our connections with people. There are one billion people on Facebook. The average path between any two of them is just 4.3 friend ‘hops’.
  74. That is, you are connected to almost one billion people via your friend’s friend’s friend’s friend. It’s a small world.
  75. Nice examples. But isn’t this far too utopian?
  76. Take three problems: • existing power structures, • tyrannies of those who show up, • a global digital divide.
  77. Powerful nations and companies are prospering in a non-democratic system. Global democracy would threaten those who wield illegitimate power at the global scale.
  78. The World Economic Forum helps the wealthy set the agenda – the World Social Forum barely gets media coverage.
  79. Most social media relies on private companies: Twitter, Facebook et al aren’t here for the lulz.
  80. But private companies will have to be more open too. They are increasingly subject to consumer control. “social production is reshaping the market conditions under which businesses operate.” Yochai Benkler Professor, Harvard Law School Author, ‘The Wealth of Networks’
  81. Digital democracy might suffer from a tyranny of those who show up. Who really has the time and energy for this stuff? Is Wikipedia a democratic information platform when only 0.13% write it?
  82. But the transparency afforded by digital media enables a record of who did what. The nature of digital communications makes it easy to keep commenting, debating, editing and re-editing. Reputations matter.
  83. Two global digital divides: 1. poverty 2. censorship
  84. It’s only a minority of the world’s population that has Internet access.
  85. But smartphone ownership is growing rapidly, and mobile internet coverage is increasing. Perhaps within ten years this will cease to be seen as a problem.
  86. Censorship, on the other hand, is practised by a large number of governments, and isn’t likely to go away quickly. Or at all.
  87. But smart users can get around censorship using proxy servers. And ‘netizens’ will develop simple acts of ‘everyday resistance’ – vocabularies of dissent, codewords and underground discussions. There have been, and always will be, ways to escape censors.
  88. Ultimately, it’s the numbers. China might call in the army to monitor microblogs, but they’ll still never control hundreds of millions of internet users. In the long run, the people win.
  89. So be optimistic. And do more research...
  90. Do notions of solidarity or allegiance change in the digital space? Do digital social networks reduce a sense of otherness and boost cosmopolitan identity?
  91. Do notions of solidarity or allegiance change in the digital space? Do digital social networks reduce a sense of otherness and boost cosmopolitan identity? How are all languages and cultures engaged in a global deliberation and participation space?
  92. Do notions of solidarity or allegiance change in the digital space? Do digital social networks reduce a sense of otherness and boost cosmopolitan identity? How are all languages and cultures engaged in a global deliberation and participation space? Can open internet access, literacy and a robust digital infrastructure be ensured for all?
  93. Think about how far we’ve come.
  94. “This is for everyone” Tim Berners-Lee Inventor,World Wide Web
  95. The Internet was developed in the 1960s. The World Wide Web, which allows information to be linked globally and viewable through a browser - was only created in 1991. In the two decades since, we’ve experienced a slow-burn revolution. Imagine what another two decades might do.
  96. Where do we go next?
  97. Thanks for reading. Want references? Fewer pictures, more words? Something missing? Go here.
  98. Earth sunrise/Moon earthrise: NASA Tahrir Facebook: rouelshimi Imazon screenshot: Google Protestor: murplejane All-seeing eye: cobalt123 Frog silouhette: ggalice UNPA emblem: UNPA Notepad: melstampz Amazon rainforest: CIFUR Starlings: Elsie Esq. Chain link fence: Thomas Hawk Network: sjcockell Stopwatch: wwarby Euro Parliament: Xaf Security Council: riacale Athens/Pnyz: : qwqchris Mathematical shape: Melisande World Economic Forum: WEF Westphalia: Gerard Ter Borch Napster: pasa47 Yochai Benkler: arcticpenguin Kant portrait: v Wikipedia A-M Slaughter: personaldemocracy LazyCat: Nicola Albertini The Crucible: drurydrama H1N1 Virus: AJCann (CDC) Internet World Map: Jeff Ogden 1914-1918: yeowatzup Avian Flu Sign: Incessant Flux Internet truck: ALEMUSH 1939-1945: Kaptain Kobold WHO speaker: US Missn Gva Internet switch: Mike Licht UN Charter: UN Photo Facebook world; Facebook via dullhunk 1999 Battle in Seattle: Steve Kaiser Love(Heart)Peace: israellovesiran.com Number on wall: Pink Sherbert Posters: Freestylee Library: 96dpi Incoming tide: Tim Donnelly OccupyResist: Devon Shaw Crowd: Alex Kess Olympic Stadium: Nick Webb George Monbiot: v Wikipedia Lobby: SEIU International CERN NeXT: coolcaesar Annan TV: Dark Inertia Johan Galtung: Manipulating Light Joe Nye: dsearls Wall St English: futureshape Richard Falk: UN Geneva
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How digital communication creates the conditions for global democracy

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