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Open AccessArticle

Deliberation in Multi-Stakeholder Participation: A Heuristic Framework Applied to the Committee on World Food Security

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Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
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Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), 14467 Potsdam, Germany
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Institute of Geography and Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
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TMG Think Tank for Sustainability, 10243 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020428
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
Multi-stakeholder participation (MSP) has become a central feature in several institutions and processes of global governance. Those who promote them trust that these arrangements can advance the deliberative quality of international institutions, and thereby improve the democratic quality, legitimacy and effectiveness of both the institutional landscape, as well as decisions made within it. This paper employs a heuristic framework to analyze the deliberative quality of MSP. Specifically, it applies Dryzek’s deliberative systems framework to the case of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The assessment shows that the CFS improves the deliberative quality of food security governance by including and facilitating the transmission of discourses from the public to the empowered spaces. However, the deliberative quality of CFS could be higher with stronger accountability mechanisms in place, more meta-deliberation and adoption of CFS outcomes at national and local levels. Reflecting on the limitations of using this heuristic framework to assess MSP, we conclude that the analysis would benefit from more explicit consideration of different forms of power that are part of the social relations between actors involved in such settings. By proposing this analytical approach, we expect to advance a heuristic framework for assessing deliberation in an international context of the growing importance of MSP in sustainability and global governance. View Full-Text
Keywords: deliberation; multi-stakeholder; participation; food security; sustainable development; global governance deliberation; multi-stakeholder; participation; food security; sustainable development; global governance
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Alves Zanella, M.; Goetz, A.; Rist, S.; Schmidt, O.; Weigelt, J. Deliberation in Multi-Stakeholder Participation: A Heuristic Framework Applied to the Committee on World Food Security. Sustainability 2018, 10, 428.

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