1st Edition

Stakeholder Democracy Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear

By Felix Dodds Copyright 2019
    262 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the context of sustainable development, this book describes how we are moving from representative to participatory democracy, and how we are now in a "stakeholder democracy," which is working to strengthen represented democracy in a time of fear.

    Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit the idea of stakeholder democracy has grown, with stakeholders engaged in helping governments and intergovernmental bodies make better decisions, and in helping them to deliver those decisions in partnerships amongst various stakeholders, with and without government. Seen through a multi-stakeholder, sector and level lens, this book describes the history of the development of stakeholder democracy, particularly in the area of sustainable development. The authors draw on more than twenty-five years of experience to review, learn from and make recommendations on how best to engage stakeholders in policy development. The book illustrates successful practical examples of multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) to implement agreements and outline elements of an MSP Charter. This will provide a benchmark for partnerships, enabling those being developed to understand what the necessary quality standards are and to understand what is expected in terms of transparency, accountability, financial reporting, impact and governance.

    The book is essential reading for professionals and trainees engaging in multi-stakeholder processes for policy development and to implement agreements. It will also be useful for students of sustainable development, politics and international relations.

    Foreword by Helen Clark


    1. Stakeholder Democracy - Re-engaging the Peoples of the World: Definitions, Concepts and Linkages by Jan Gustav Strandenaes

    2. A Short History of Democracy

    3. The Emergence of Stakeholder Democracy

    4. Civil Societies Discourse

    5. Literature Review by Carolina Duque Chopitea

    6. Examples of Successful Multi-Stakeholder Policy Development

    7. Examples of Successful Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships by Jan-Gustav Strandenaes

    8. Principles for Multi-stakeholder Processes by Minu Hemmati

    9. Designing successful Multi-stakeholder by Susanne Salz, Bernd Lakemeier, Laura Schmitz, and Jana Borkenhagen

    10. The Challenges Ahead


    Felix Dodds is an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina and an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute. He was the co-director of the 2014 and 2018 Nexus Conference on Water, Food, Energy and Climate. In 2019 he was a candidate for the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    "To mobilize action globally in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require buy-in and commitments not just from governments, but from all segments of society. This book addresses a major component of that challenge – involving stakeholders in every part of the process to deliver on the promise of the SDGs. Many of the contributors have long led efforts to build an inclusive and democratic framework for delivering on sustainable development. Their experience, insights and analysis of what works and what doesn’t not only make the case for the benefits of multi-stakeholderism, but allows them to develop crucial practical and detailed guidance on making multi-stakeholder policy dialogues and partnerships legitimate, effective, and accountable." - Steven Bernstein, Professor of Political Science and Co-director of the Environmental Governance Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, Canada.

    "This book is extremely timely. The ability for government institutions to deal with challenges to our society and planet is seemly getting worse day by the day. Government institutions need to be re imagined and this book offers a vision that can help institutions to be more inclusive to society and respectful to nature by their design. The basic idea is to formally involve stakeholders in government decision making and therefore have society at large committed to implementation of policies, delivered through a sense of ownership and partnership. This vision can empower representative democracy in a time of fear of conflict and economic collapse to deal with social inequality and environmentally degradation" - Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, Director of the UCD Centre for Sustainable Development Studies, Senior Advisor UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

    "For those of us wondering "what exactly does stakeholders mean?" this book provides a comprehensive and useful answer. Beyond that, it outlines the concept of stakeholder democracy both in historical overview and in contemporary political context, as the inevitable next step in democratic progress. Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear distills decades of knowledge into an engaging, enlightening read, democratically disseminating the wisdom usually only gleaned through a coffee with one of its authors. In UN advocacy, precedent is everything. Outlining the best examples of stakeholder engagement, this book is a guiding light for the next generation of non-government actors seeking to influence global policy." - Kathryn Tobin, Advocacy Coordinator, WaterAid

    "Multi-stakeholder engagement is fundamental for a coherent and integrated implementation of the SDGs. Stakeholders contribute to mobilising resources, informing policy, identifying innovative solutions, supporting transformations and voicing the needs of underrepresented communities. A strong partnership means engaging stakeholders effectively by granting them equal and fair opportunities to be informed and consulted in decision-making. The book "Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear" depicts well how partnerships must be aligned with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With this aspiration, the OECD created the PCSD Partnership that brings together governments, international organisations, civil society, think tanks, the private sector and other stakeholders from all regions of the world, committed and working to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development (SDG 17.14)." - Ebba Dohlman, OECD's head of unit on policy coherence for sustainable development

    "It’s democracy, period! This book is a must-read for all who want to understand how to work the 21th century politics. Having worked long years as eminent advisors, actors, and advocates the authors offer deep insider knowledge. Stakeholder are more than just the opposite to economic shareholder. Stakeholder democracy is part of the mainstream institutional and parliamentary governance. Even more so, engagement of people helps keeping democracies lively, effective and resourceful. This book carefully sketches out how stakeholder democracy came to be the prime important ingredient to our common future. When it comes to ensuring a decent life for all within the planetary boundaries being transparent, reliable, constructively positive are the virtues of cooperation - as opposed to being absorbed in elitist turf battles and selfish positioning in the global awareness economy. For public and stakeholder politics there what can be learned from the rich narrative of this book might simply start a new Stakeholder Social Responsibility." - Günther Bachmann, General Secretary to the German Council for Sustainable Development and activist in a series of stakeholder setups

    "There is no doubt about the power of the collective to change the world, even more now, when we are increasingly interconnected. In order for the collective effort to be effective, numbers matter, but strategy is key. This book, which emphasizes multi-stakeholder democracy, makes a truly important contribution to how the whole of society can, and should, come together to solve the world's most pressing problems. This compelling work calls for reflection and action, two sides of the coin of transformative change." - Claudia Mansfield LaRue, Former G77+China negotiator of the United Nations "Towards Global Partnerships Resolution" International Recruitment and Partnerships Specialist, Montclair State University, USA

    "Just as the fundamentals of the international architecture are being challenged and on the brink of a period of renewal, there could be no better time to revisit the power and presence of stakeholder democracy as a force for positive change. This book shows how stakeholder democracy can enable us to make the transition to a sustainable future in a way that addresses the political upheaval of our times, and the necessary shift from authoritarian-populism to a people-lead social and political renaissance." - Andrew Higham, Chief Executive of Mission 2020

    "There is a vast body of scholarly literature on non-state actors in governance of sustainable development, amongst other in partnerships. There is an even larger body of academic publications on democracy – a crucial principle underpinning meaningful engagement of stakeholders in policy-making and implementation. This book, by a great team of experienced advocates of and specialists in stakeholder engagement, brings these topics together and in a historic context – not from an ivory tower perspective, but from constructive critical "Vienna Cafe" perspective. And this makes the book a must-read for all the diplomats, bureaucrats, lobbyist, scientists, and civil society representatives who crowd this coffee corner in the basement of the UN Headquarters." - Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum

    "As this book documents, not all stakeholder engagement in multilateral processes has been impactful. It shares valuable lessons about what has worked and what hasn’t." - Rt Hon Helen Clark, taken from the Foreword

    "The book is conscientious in the way that it increases transparency in relation to the organizations involved in policymaking by discussing not only success stories, but also the lessons that we can learn from pitfalls. The story that is introduced is diverse, and the authors attempt to colligate diverging threads. This means it would be worth reading by anyone interested in the involvement of stakeholders in different global sustainability programs."

    Alíz Nagy in Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics VOL. 6 NO. 4 (2020)