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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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Ict global governance
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


Session i the transformation of the global communications order
Session I: The Transformation of the Global Communications Order

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

International institutions and global governance
International Institutions and OrderGlobal Governance

What Global Governance Isn’t (necessarily)

Global Governance as International Collective Action

International Regimes

Governance Mechanisms Vary Greatly in Form…

…Generic Functions



…and Power Dynamics

Do These Issues Really Matter?

1 what global governance isn t necessarily
1. What Global Governance Isn’t (necessarily) Order

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

2 global governance as international collective action
2. Global Governance as OrderInternational Collective Action

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

3 international regimes
3. International Regimes Order

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

4 governance mechanisms vary greatly in form
4. Governance Mechanisms Vary OrderGreatly in Form…

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

5 generic functions
5. …Generic Functions Order

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

6 participation
6. ….Participation Order

  • Intergovernmental Multilateral

  • Intergovernmental Regional & Plurilateral

  • Private Sector “Self Governance”

  • Tri-sectoral

    • Type 1: actors serve on delegations of others that control the process

    • Type 2: actors directly participate in processes controlled by others

    • Type 3: Nominal/formal equality of actors

7 substance
7. …Substance Order

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?

8 and power dynamics
8. …and Power Dynamics Order

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

9 do these issues really matter
9. Do These Issues Really Matter? Order

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

B overview of ict global governance
B. OrderOverview of ICT Global Governance

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

1 four additional functions for the ict environment
1. Four Additional Functions for the ICT Environment

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

2 the old networld order
2. The Old NetWorld Order Environment

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

3 the information control revolution
3. The Information Control Revolution Environment

Technological change

Industry’s changing preferences, new interest configurations, and demands for policy change

Market pressures

New ideas about sector and macro-economic governance

Government institutions and political power balances

At the international level, State power

4 power shifts in the great transformation deliberate allusion to karl polanyi
4. Power Shifts in the Great Transformation (deliberate allusion to Karl Polanyi)

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)

5 effects on national policies and international interests
5. Effects on National Policies and International Interests

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

6 effects on ict global governance
6. Effects on ICT Global Governance Interests

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

7 the new global policy architecture
7. The New Global Policy Architecture Interests

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)

8 criticisms of intergovernmentalism
8. Criticisms of Intergovernmentalism Interests

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!

9 criticisms of self governance
9. Criticisms of Self-Governance Interests

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

C the international telecommunications regime
C. The International Telecommunications Regime Interests


Historical Evolution

Guiding Principles

A Regime in Decline


1 instruments
1. Instruments Interests

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)

2 historical evolution
2. Historical Evolution Interests

1850 to 1960s, stablegrowth & success

1970s through 1980s incremental politicization

late 1980s to mid-1990s, liberalization & transformation

Since then, decline

3 guiding principles
3. Guiding Principles Interests

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

4 a regime in decline
4. A Regime in Decline Interests

Privatization & liberalization = shift from treaties to contracts

Trade agreements & concepts

The Internet

“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

5 consequences
5. Consequences Interests

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

D the international trade in services regime
D. The International Trade in Services Regime Interests


Historical Evolution

Guiding Principles

The Reference Paper

A Regime on the Rise


Instruments Interests

Organizational Context:WTO

The Framework Agreement (General Obligations and Disciplines---GODs)

The Annexes, including on Telecommunications

National Schedules of Commitments

Historical evolution
Historical Evolution Interests

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”

Guiding principles
Guiding Principles Interests

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)

The reference paper
The Reference Paper Interests

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.

The reference paper continued
The Reference Paper (continued) Interests

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.

A regime on the rise
A Regime on the Rise Interests

  • Strong support in the industrialized world and global business community, mixed feelings in the developing and transitional countries; but faces Challenges:

    • Extending and deepening market access commitments, especially on cross-border supply

    • Conceptual and boundary issues in e-commerce (generally: Adapting to the Internet Age)

    • Domestic regulation, e.g. transparency, necessity

  • Policy options in responding to techno-market change:

    • Develop New Disciplines?

    • Revise General Obligations?

    • Legislate through Dispute Settlement Panels?

6 consequences
6. Consequences Interests

  • GATS + TRIPs = WTO could become the most important forum in ICT global governance

  • Strength & Effectiveness:strong normative pressure, variable implementation; dispute settlement to be tested in telecom (U.S.-Mexico)

  • Over time, progressive re-evaluation of multitude of domestic and international policies & rules according to anti-trade restriction baseline

E defining public interest objectives criteria conundrums
E. Defining Public Interest Objectives: Criteria & Conundrums

  • What guiding principles and policy models strike the right balance in the difficult, non-obvious cases, e.g.:

    • Call-back, Internet Telephony and PSTN bypass

    • Accounting and settlements

    • Interconnection and competitive safeguards

    • Domestic regulation and Internet-based delivery of goods and services (including media) between small and medium-sized firms and individual customers

  • How should public interest advocates position themselves in relation to the key players & debates?

Session ii governing networks services in the new environment
Session II: Governing Networks & Services Conundrumsin the New Environment

  • What Works, What Doesn’t?: Some Cross-Institutional Lessons Learned

  • Six Overarching Challenges for the Global Community

  • Enhancing the Role of Civil Society Organizations in ICT Global Governance

What works what doesn t some cross institutional lessons learned
What Works, What Doesn’t?: Some Cross-Institutional Lessons Learned

Agenda Setting


Implementation and Compliance

Reactions to Noncompliance

A word on Defining “Works”

---Functionally, Politically, Normatively

Agenda setting
Agenda Setting Lessons Learned

  • States’ control of the international agenda has eroded in the great transformation.

  • The information revolution and global liberalization have greatly increased private sector influence.

  • Skewed private sector participation can preclude effective agenda setting.

  • Civil Society Organizations can make valuable contributions, but special measures are needed to facilitate their participation.

  • Prior forms of institutionalization can have a powerful impact on the paths that new issues follow to the international agenda.

Negotiation Lessons Learned

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.

3 implementation and compliance
3. Lessons LearnedImplementation and Compliance

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.

4 reactions to noncompliance
4. Reactions to Noncompliance Lessons Learned

  • The lack of strong enforcement mechanisms in the regulatory regimes has made it difficult to deal with noncompliance.

  • Conversely, the presence of strong enforcement mechanisms in the more market-enabling communications regimes has promoted compliance.

  • Some variability in compliance does not undermine the overall value of regime cooperation.

B six overarching challenges for the global community
B. Six Overarching Challenges Lessons Learnedfor the Global Community

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

1 assessing the global architecture
1. Assessing the Global Architecture Lessons Learned

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

Improving individual policy frameworks
Improving Individual Policy Frameworks Lessons Learned

Some especially pressing priorities…

International Trade in Services and E-Commerce in the WTO

Intellectual Property (WTO TRIPs, WIPO)

Spectrum Management

Security (Network and Informational)

Internet Identifiers (ICANN)

Global Digital Development programs and projects

3 re mapping global political space
3. Re-Mapping Global Lessons LearnedPolitical Space

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

4 enhancing inter national participation
4. Enhancing Inter-national Participation Lessons Learned

Raising the voices of developing and transitional countries---

  • Balanced and equitable participation is an undeniable end in itself and a means to effective governance, not a detriment

  • Identify and attenuate international institutional/procedural barriers where possible

  • Build nations’ organizational, analytical, human capacities through partnerships

5 improving transparency accountability
5. Improving Transparency & Accountability Lessons Learned

  • Reform Governance Mechanisms

    • Cope with unintended consequences, e.g. dispersion

  • Overcome Knowledge Gaps to Take Advantage

    • Under-supply by academia, think tanks, NGOs, etc.

    • Fragmentation by issue-area, lack of cross-sectoral learning, so blind men & the elephant

    • Need to build independent capabilities for substantial, accessible public interest analysis

6 getting keeping powerful actors on board
6. Getting/Keeping Powerful Actors On-Board Lessons Learned

  • Experience demonstrates that effective global governance is impossible if the most powerful governments and corporations refuse to play

  • Examples: U.S. and corporate defections from the traditional telecom regime, EU privacy, etc.

  • When dissatisfied with “old paradigm” or “bureaucratic” approaches, powerful actors have withheld compliance and/or moved the real action to exclusionary groupings

  • So how to co-opt without being co-opted?

Enhancing the role of civil society organizations in ict global governance
Enhancing the Role of Civil Society Organizations in ICT Global Governance

The Past as Prologue

The Current Scene

Capacity Building: What Are the Priorities, How Best to Pursue Them?


1 the past as prologue
1. The Past as Prologue Global Governance

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

The current scene
The Current Scene Global Governance

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

3 capacity building what are the priorities how best to pursue them
3. Capacity Building: What Are the Priorities, How Best to Pursue Them?

Beyond the obvious, e.g. Money and Staff---

  • Information: Monitoring, analysis, tool kits, tactical best practices from both the sites of international institutions and national/regional, generic and customized to local conditions

  • Knowledge: Training and hands-on experience

  • Networks: links and partnerships with other CSOs

  • Friendlies: Links with key policy insiders

  • What Else? What Specifically Would be Most Useful to You?

4 conclusion
4. Conclusion Pursue Them?

  • Little coherent debate to date on these issues; WSIS quite obviously is not enough

  • Governments, IGOs, CSOs, businesses, think tanks all have roles to play; lessons of DOT Force

  • Special attention needed to the interests and views of non-dominant actors that have been marginalized in the digital “Washington Consensus”

  • The substantive objectives and institutional architecture of global governance should reflect the full diversity of interests, ideas, and activities involved in a globalized NetWorld Order