ICT Global Governance. Presentation to the Stanhope Centre’s 2003 ICT Policy Training Seminar in Budapest August 27, 2003 William J. Drake Director, Project on the Information Revolution & Global Governance Senior Associate, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
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International Institutions & Global Governance
Overview of ICT Global Governance
The International Telecommunications Regime
The International Trade in Services Regime
Defining Public Interest Objectives:
Criteria & Conundrums
What Global Governance Isn’t (necessarily)
Global Governance as International Collective Action
Governance Mechanisms Vary Greatly in Form…
…and Power Dynamics
Do These Issues Really Matter?
Not synonymous with government, can be done by private actors
Not necessarily “good,” although that’s desirable
Not necessarily collective and participatory, can be unilateral, although to have legitimacy this often necessary. Nevertheless, this is how it is now conventionally understood.
Not necessarily global in the sense of universally agreed or applied.
PS: “Internet Governance” is not synonymous with management of Internet identifiers
In practice, common usage=
Systems of collective rules (social institutions) that shape actors’ behavior in some realm of global interaction
A more expansive view could also entail=
collective programs and projects that significantly impact those rules, e.g. by redefining issues, capabilities, power relations
First half of definition really means regimes
The principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in an international issue-area
Development Stages: creation, adaptive evolution, change (in framework vs. of the framework), decay
International regimes and organizations are two different things; often related, often not. Some organizations run projects of value but have no real role in rule making and enforcement; ex: UNESCO
Organizational Settings: linked or unlinked to formal intergovernmental organizations
Agreement Type: Treaties, recommendations, guidelines, declarations, MOUs, etc.
Rule Strength: Formal or informal, binding or voluntary
Domain: Public/private sector, universal/smaller group
Scope: range of issues covered
Compliance: Monitoring, enforcement
Constrain actors from doing things they would otherwise like to do
Empower actors to do things with community assent that might otherwise be controversial or costly to undertake unilaterally
Reduce transaction costs in devising frameworks for international transactions
Reduce information costs for members
Facilitate individual and collective learning
Establish rules of liability and, in some cases, mechanisms for sanctioning non-compliance
Guiding social purposes, e.g. facilitate markets vs. administrative allocations of resources; management of public goods
Distributional biases: which actors & forms of social organization favored, which are not
These & other attributes present design choices
Which mechanisms are best suited for which issues?
Where is it most effective to focus in pursuing the global public interest?
Some institutional environments give dominant actors free reign to set the agenda and control negotiations, outcomes, and enforcement/implementation
Other have rules and procedures that empower non-dominant actors and increase their influence
Most lie somewhere between these two poles
Institutional characteristics often influence the shape of policy outcomes and effects
By extension, they have strategic and tactical implications for public interest advocates---what works in one environment may not in another
“Knowledge is power”---to many policy insiders, a clear understanding of institutions distinguishes who they will deal seriously with, or not.
Knowledge of both individual institutions and comparative or cross-institutional lessons crucial
Four Additional Functions for the ICT Environment
The Old NetWorld Order
The Information Control Revolution
Power Shifts in the Great Transformation
Effects on National Policies and International Interests
Effects on ICT Global Governance
The New Global Policy Architecture
Criticisms of Intergovernmentalism
Criticisms of Industry Self-Governance
Physical interconnection, logical interoperation of networks
Manage collective resources, natural & logical
Terms and conditions for cross-border services
Non-competitive “joint supply” vs. trade
Terms and conditions for cross-border content of information exchanged
International Telecommunications Regime (ITU)
National sovereignty & mutual consent, joint service provision, standardization for connectivity
International Radio Regime (ITU)
Sovereignty, shared resources, non-interference, allocation & allotment, assignment notice
International Satellite Regime (Intelsat)
Joint near-monopoly provision; technical & operational standards; inter-system coordination
Information Flow Quasi-Regime (UN/ITU/other)
Fragmented, weak, contradictory instruments
Industry’s changing preferences, new interest configurations, and demands for policy change
New ideas about sector and macro-economic governance
Government institutions and political power balances
At the international level, State power
from the public to the private sector
From suppliers to users
from sector-specific regulatory concepts to systemic and trade-based thinking
from Europe to the USA
from PSTNs & accounting rates to IP networking & new modes of operation (resale, VoIP, callback)
Domestic realignments of industry, consumer interests and dominant ideas
Intra-state shifts in power, e.g. from communications to trade & industry ministries
Consequent Spread of national liberalization and privatization
In broad terms: US from late 1950s; UK & Japan early 1980s; other EU and OECD from mid-1980s; developing countries from early 1990s
Gradual, asymmetric, and highly contested realignments of preferences regarding international institutions
1850 to 1980s = state-centric models, stable cooperation; from 1990s = more market-oriented models and conflict
Old intergovernmental regimes transformed or eroded, New intergovernmental/private regimes erected
Move from a limited number of intergovernmental organizations to a heterogeneous public/private mix of rule-making forums
1. Old intergovernmental multilateral regimes
Telecommunications (eroded), satellites (transformed), radio (less change)
2. New intergovernmental multilateral regimes
International trade in services (WTO), Intellectual property (WIPO, WTO), Cyber-crime (COE), e-commerce (UNCITRAL), proposed Hague Convention
3. Intergovernmental regional/plurilateral regimes
Various in EU, NAFTA, APEC, CITEL, OECD, Wassenaar
4. Self governance regimes for Internet infrastructure
Internet identifiers (ICANN); technical standardization
5.Self governance regimes for Internet “content”
privacy, digital contracting, etc. (various)
Intergovernmental organizations said to be too slow-moving and bureaucratic to formulate rules for dynamic global markets
Too wedded to “old paradigm” models of governance inappropriate for the new environment
Too subject to laborious “UN-style” decision-making and “politicization” of “technical” issues
Clearly some truth to these & related charges; but government authority & accountability is still key!
Who is the “self ?” Significant problems of accountability, transparency, & potential “capture” by dominant interests
Strong incentives for non-compliance when monitoring, detection, & sanctioning are weak
Business anyway has driven the agenda in intergovernmental settings in recent years
Self-governance can be a useful addition to the menu of choices, but it is optimal in a narrow range of cases (private contracting without negative externalities) & often is not a good substitute for intergovernmental authority
A Regime in Decline
Organizational Context:The ITU
ITU Convention & Constitution (treaties governing the ITU organization and establishing broad purposes & principles of member behavior)
International Telecommunication Regulations (treaty comprising restrictions on networks & services)
International Telecommunication Recommendations (non-binding rules on networks, services, equipment, including both operational/regulatory measures and technical standards)
1850 to 1960s, stablegrowth & success
1970s through 1980s incremental politicization
late 1980s to mid-1990s, liberalization & transformation
Since then, decline
National Sovereignty & Mutual Consent
Convention & Constitution: sovereignty, mutual
Convention: stoppage, monitoring, etc for public order
Recommendations: leased circuits, private networks, etc---sovereignty as monopoly control
Joint Service Provision
Convention, Regulations, Recommendations: priority of JS parallels mutual consent (recent diversification)
Interconnection & Interoperation
Convention, Recommendations: Technical standards
Privatization & liberalization = shift from treaties to contracts
Trade agreements & concepts
“New Modes of Operation,” e.g. Call-back, Refile, International Simple Resale, Internet Telephony
U.S.-led opposition, e.g. accounting rates, bypass, proposed revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations
Shift toward more competitive, flexible, market-driven development of ICTs
Marginalization of PTT-led Coalition, especially in the developing and transitional countries, which cannot drive the agenda or use the instruments to support their market positions and authority
Decay in compliance, authority, relevance = a “legacy system” in tension with the new NetWorld order
Decay in ICT multilateralism more generally
The Reference Paper
A Regime on the Rise
The Framework Agreement (General Obligations and Disciplines---GODs)
The Annexes, including on Telecommunications
National Schedules of Commitments
1986 to 1994 Uruguay Round & the General Agreement on Trade in Services (also: creation of WTO, TRIPs Agreement, etc.)
1994 to 1997 Basic telecom negotiations, conclusion of the 4th Protocol including the Reference Paper
1998 to 2000, pre-negotiations & e-commerce work program
2001 to present, Doha “Development Round”
General Obligations and Disciplines: most favored nation, transparency, domestic regulation, competition, restrictive business practices, general exceptions (inc. consumer and privacy protection)
Specific Commitments: market access, national treatment, additional commitments negotiated for each of four “modes of supply”
Cross-border, movement of the consumer, commercial presence, movement of the supplier (natural persons)
Sectoral Annexes: Telecom Annex on Public telecom transport networks and services (user empowerment)
Competitive Safeguards. Majorsuppliers must not engage in anti-competitive cross-subsidization, misuse information on competitors accessing their networks, etc.
Interconnection. Majorsuppliers are to provide market entrants with interconnection at any technically feasible point in the network, at nondiscriminatory terms, conditions and rates.
Universal Service. Such obligations are to be administered in a transparent, nondiscriminatory, and competitively neutral manner that is not more burdensome than required to meet the policy objectives.
Public Availability of Licensing Criteria. Where licenses are needed, information and decision making procedures are to be transparent.
Allocation and Use of Scarce Resources. Procedures for allocating and using frequencies, numbers, and rights-of-way are to be carried out in an objective, timely, transparent, and nondiscriminatory manner.
Independent Regulators. Regulatory bodies are to be separated from service providers and not accountable to them.
Implementation and Compliance
Reactions to Noncompliance
A word on Defining “Works”
---Functionally, Politically, Normatively
The quality of powerful states’ leadership is important, particularly when negotiating changes to the status quo.
As intergovernmental, hybrid, and private negotiations all have strengths and weaknesses, the desirability of one model or the other depends on the issues and interests involved.
Excessive formalization of regime negotiations and instruments can diminish their effectiveness and impede change.
A capacity for innovation is necessary to agreement.
Non-binding instruments can be very useful tools with which to build international consensus.
Technological change and market liberalization sometimes can make it difficult to determine whether private firms are behaving in accordance with the commitments undertaken by their home governments.
Centralized monitoring systems are more demanding but more effective than are decentralized systems.
Private sector monitoring can help to fill in the gaps of decentralized systems (could CSOs help here?).
The behavior of leading actors can have a significant effect on the compliance of other regime members.
Obtaining the compliance of developing countries often requires technical assistance, resource transfers, and flexibility.
Assessing the Global Architecture
Improving Individual Policy Frameworks
Re-Mapping Global Political Space
Enhancing Inter-National Participation
Improving Transparency & Accountability
Getting/Keeping Powerful Actors On-Board
Analyze Institutional Design Choices
What lessons learned from past experience, which substantive and procedural models have worked best under which circumstances, how well do our institutions work together, what gaps and needs remain?
Analyze and Map the Diversity of Interests
On which issues are there what levels of (dis)agreement among which parties, what space exists for more cooperative solutions?
These and Related Steps Require Bridge Building between Analysts and Practitioners
Some especially pressing priorities…
International Trade in Services and E-Commerce in the WTO
Intellectual Property (WTO TRIPs, WIPO)
Security (Network and Informational)
Internet Identifiers (ICANN)
Global Digital Development programs and projects
Domestic/global interfaces in transition---
How to avoid the proliferation of extra-territorial extensions of national laws?
Establishing Applicable Jurisdiction for dispute resolution, consumer protection, etc.
Balancing between cross-border transactions and governance commitments and national laws and regulations, e.g. in the GATS
Change will come and must be done right
Raising the voices of developing and transitional countries---
The Past as Prologue
The Current Scene
Capacity Building: What Are the Priorities, How Best to Pursue Them?
Historically: Unlike some global issue-areas, CSOs little participation or influence in ICT.
Few exceptions: Amateurs and the radio regime, the aborted New World Information and Communication Order process in UNESCO, etc.
Different story at the national level; ex: telecom and media policy in the USA
What’s Changed: The Internet and globalization broadened the menu of issues, raised the stakes, and provided new tools for activism
Growing links with CSOs in other fields
Inside Players: ICANN Noncommercial Users Constituency vs. looser consultations, e.g. OECD e-commerce, privacy, current WIPO efforts
Outside Players: Anti-WTO groups
World Summit on the Information Society: an important opportunity for organizational development and coalition building
Beyond the obvious, e.g. Money and Staff---