What is National Internet Governance? A Multistakeholder Model in Context
This work examines the multistakeholder model of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br), a pioneering experience of national Internet Governance, since 1995. It assumes that building a multistakeholder institution is defining what multistakeholder governance is, and analyzes CGI.br based on latent questions of the multistakeholderism scholarship related to the role of government, the mechanisms of participation and the institutional design and procedural rules of a multistakeholder initiative. The paper argues that although legally sponsored by government, other sources of legitimation, aspects of design and the business model can be counterweights to the power of the government at a national multistakeholder institution. The article also identifies and problematizes different multistakeholder models that may coexist within an organization—participatory and representative—and proposes recommendations to leverage multistakeholder initiatives in terms of its participation structure and the diversity of interests within them. This study is informed by documentary research and ethnography at the executive office of CGI.br and at events supported by it.