Difference between revisions of "Category:Governance"

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* Marjorie Kelly: [http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/09105?gko=106fd-1876-27599815 Not Just For Profit]: Emerging alternatives to the shareholder-centric model could help companies avoid ethical mishaps and contribute more to the world at large. Explores three new-style corporate designs: 1. stakeholder-owned companies; 2. mission-controlled companies; and 3. public-private hybrids.  
* Marjorie Kelly: [http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/09105?gko=106fd-1876-27599815 Not Just For Profit]: Emerging alternatives to the shareholder-centric model could help companies avoid ethical mishaps and contribute more to the world at large. Explores three new-style corporate designs: 1. stakeholder-owned companies; 2. mission-controlled companies; and 3. public-private hybrids.  
* The [[State, the Market, and some Preliminary Question about the Commons]]. Ugo Mattei. [http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=ugo_mattei] An absolutely crucial text by Ugo Mattei on how the Western legal tradition needs to be fundamentally overturned in order for the common and the commons to emerge as core principle of a new legal-institutional system.

Revision as of 04:17, 2 April 2011

This section covers both 1) the organizational microscale formats or methods used to govern peer production, FLOSS, and other non-coercive methods of governance; 2) the evolution on a macro-scale towards the dominance of collaborative networks

This section is maintained by Michel Bauwens and adheres to Connective Hypothesis, i.e. The key organizing pattern of our global culture is shifting from a top-down hierarchical pyramid to a distributed, self-organizing network. [1]

For an understanding of the specificities of Peer Governance, we strongly recommend the following book: Cyberchiefs. Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes. Mathieu O’Neil. Macmillan/Pluto Press, 2009.

For the governance of the Global Commons of humanity, we advocate replacing the scarcity-engineering of neoliberal markets by the abundance engineering of the Commons: see the Abundance - Typology and the Wealth Typology. Policy concepts and proposals are maintained here.

For the approach of the P2P Foundation, see: Michel Bauwens: Peer Governance as a Third Mode of Governance

(this area is under construction: the Encyclopedia items related to governance have been ported until but not including M)


P2P Governance Visualization 2large.png

Higher resolution version

  1. Please read the following excerpts of David Ronfeldt on the Evolution of Governance
  2. You may want to read this important discussion document by Erik Douglas, Peer to Peer and the Four Pillars of Democracy, which examines the relationship between Peer Governance and representative democracy.
  3. Henry Mintzberg's Taxonomy of Organizational Forms, is good as backgrounder.
  4. Billy Matheson's graphical representation on how relationality may or will affect governance
  5. Felix Stadler insists: The Governance of Peer Production is Meritocratic, not Egalitarian

19 Transitional Institutions for the P2P Civilisation


According to Dave Pollard:

"Joanna Macy's book Coming Back to Life has the following list (the last six items are my own additions):" [2]

  1. teach-ins and peer study groups
  2. think tanks and Gaian learning institutions (where you would learn improvisation, story-telling, and some of the other critical life skills in the graphic above)
  3. groups that would maintain measures of genuine well-being to replace GDP, stock markets, phony inflation & unemployment numbers as the gauges of our society's health
  4. consensus and conflict resolution services, to replace lawyers
  5. non-violence 'genuine defense' institutions, to replace the military
  6. renewable energy 'transition' co-ops
  7. land trusts and conservancies, replacing land ownership with community stewardship
  8. community-based co-ops for gardening/permaculture, CSA, tool-sharing, skills banks
  9. community-based repair, recycling, composting and re-use programs
  10. holistic health institutions based on self-management and prevention
  11. local currencies and gift economy programs
  12. unschooling (natural/self-directed learning)
  13. collective, independent, non-commercial information sharing and communications media
  14. clothing co-ops (like Mondragon's)
  15. community theatre
  16. community-based scientific research, idea and innovation centres
  17. facilitation 'collaboratories' (where skilled facilitators would help you resolve challenges both local and global)
  18. well-being centres for personal growth, relationship management and self-learning
  19. artist and crafts co-ops


Jim Spohrer has an ordering of systems into three levels:

  1. systems that move, store, harvest, process;
  2. systems that enable healthy, wealthy and wise people; and
  3. systems that govern.

See Smarter Planet Service Systems


Long Citations

Peter Suber: From Profit-Maximization and Market-Orientation to Mission-Focused

Profit maximizing limits access to knowledge, by limiting it to paying customers. If anyone thinks this is just a side-effect of today's market incentives, then we can put the situation differently: Profit maximizing doesn't always limit access to knowledge, but is always ready to do so if it pays better. This proposition has a darker corollary: Profit maximizing doesn't always favor untruth, but is always ready to do so if it would pay better. ... Instead of hypnotically granting the primacy of markets in all sectors, as if there were no exceptions, we should remember that many organizations compromise profits or relinquish revenues in order to foster their missions, and that we all benefit from their dedication. Which institutions and sectors ought to do so, and how should we protect and support them to pursue their missions? Instead of smothering these questions for offending the religion of markets, we should open them for wider discussion. (http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/03-02-10.htm#missions)

E.F. Schumacher against the professional cooptation of community:

"The professional co-option of community efforts to invent appropriate techniques for citizens to care in community has been pervasive. Therefore, we need to identify the characteristics of those social forms that are resistant to colonization by service technologies while enabling communities to cultivate and care. These authentic social forms are characterized by three basic dimensions: they tend to be uncommodified, unmanaged, and uncurricularized. The tools of the bereavement counselor make grief into a commodity rather than an opportunity for community. Service technologies convert conditions into commodities and care into service.

The tools of the manager convert communality into hierarchy, replacing consent with control. Where once there was a commons, the manager creates a corporation. The tools of the pedagogue create monopolies in the place of cultures. By making a school of every-day life, community definitions and citizen action are degraded and finally expelled. It is this hard-working team—the service professional, the manager, and the pedagogue—that pulls the tools of "community busting" through the modern social landscape. If we are to recultivate community, we will need to return this team to the stable, abjuring their use." (http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/lec-mck.html)

Kevin Werbach on Abundance as a Policy Goal:

“The cyber-solution to this governance dilemma is to fight the constraint that produces all the tensions: scarcity. Abundance trumps governance. There is no need to worry about resource allocation when there are more than enough resources to go around. And those who find their norms ill-served can choose a more suitable environment, because the costs of forming new groups and institutions are so low.

The good news is that cyberspace – if we let it – can be the greatest engine of abundance the world has ever known. From the billions of search clicks that Google pairs with targeted text ads to the millions of WiFi devices using shared wireless spectrum to the hundreds of thousands of books along Amazon.com’s long tail, abundance is the driving force of the Internet economy. It should be an abiding goal of Internet governance as well. Furthering the historical analogy, it was territorial expansion, to the Western edge of the continent and beyond, that channeled and checked the tensions of the nascent American constitutional republic.

If cyberspace is to be well-governed, therefore, it must grow. We must resist the temptation to look back nostalgically to the frontier homesteading days, when norms dominated because so many of them were shared. Let us, as David urges, embrace the Internet’s wondrous chaos. At the same time, though, let us sing the praises of its well-designed rules. The shared enemy is not structure, but exclusivity and other barriers to choice and connectivity.“ (http://publius.cc/2008/05/13/kevin-werbach-steering-to-the-edge-of-trust/)

Iqbal Quadir, founder of Grameenphone of Bangladesh:

"If concentration of power has contributed to poor governance, the solution must lie in dispersing power… ICTs empower from below while devolving power from above, resulting in a two-pronged attack on abuse of state power that has left so much of the world’s population languishing in poverty… ICTs can be the means to both freedom and development by blindsiding obstacles to both." (http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/profile/TomCrowl)

Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the new 'horizontal' influentials

"Today, people with power and influence derive their power from their centrality within self-organizing networks that might or might not correspond to any plan on the part of designated leaders. Organization structure in vanguard companies involves multi-directional responsibilities, with an increasing emphasis on horizontal relationships rather than vertical reporting as the center of action that shapes daily tasks and one’s portfolio of projects, in order to focus on serving customers and society. Circles of influence replace chains of command, as in the councils and boards at Cisco which draw from many levels to drive new strategies. Distributed leadership — consisting of many ears to the ground in many places — is more effective than centralized or concentrated leadership." (http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/kanter/2009/11/power-to-the-connectors.html)

The Era of the Globalisation of People

“Globalisation is not a new phenomenon. As analysed by Thomas Friedman in The World Is Not Flat, in the 16th and 17th centuries empires became global, whereas in the 20th century it was companies that became global, and the differential factor is that since the end of the millennium, ten years ago, it is people who are becoming global. And again it is a third technological revolution that is promoting the transformation: the revolution promoted by new information and communication technologies, of which the internet is the most transformative expression.”

- Josu Jon Imaz [3]

Short Citations

  • The trust is to the commons as the corporation is to the market - Peter Barnes [4]
  • There are already plenty of existing examples to show that stakeholder trusts can achieve things that neither government nor markets can: responsible and equitable long-term management of a shared resource. - David Bollier [5]
  • The industrial Age of modernization brings the Secularization of authority, whereas the postindustrial stage brings emancipation from authority. - Alan Moore [6]
  • The single most fundamental impact from all of these new capabilities may be felt in connection with the way in which we form the middle tier of the social fabric — organized, persistent, collaborating (non–governmental) groups. - David Johnson [7]
  • If we want to create an environment in which users have refined control, political control, you have to deal with two obstacles -- making code subject to political control, and making it possible for the group to own their own environment. - adapted from Clay Shirky [8]
  • Wikipedia’s success dramatizes instead a change in the nature of authority, moving from trust inhering in guarantees offered by institutions to probabilities created by processes. - Clay Shirky [9]
  • Self-organization and strong central control are (not) incompatible: individual projects self-organize because the participants choose to be there--they select themselves, and they choose to follow the project's benevolent dictator (or else they leave). - Eric Raymond [10]


The entries in the directory below covers different aspects which should be distinguished from each other.

  1. The forms of peer governance of open/free communities and peer production groups. See A Model of a Mature Open Source Project for a case study of the Plone community.
    1. Informal leadership models that are pragmatically used to govern such projects: what is the nature of leadership and hierarchy in peer production?
    2. The use of formal management models.
    3. The use of legal formats such as Foundations to formalize leadership of the infrastructure that enables the common production to occur.
    4. Formal legislative process in government and political parties. Apart from non-representational self-governance models in the small teams responsible for peer production, whenever the allocation of scarce resources need to takes place, 'peer-informed' representational models will arise.
  2. The methods of production used in peer production: how is the work actually done?
    1. The tools used in the production process (ie. Bitkeeper, CVS, etc.)
    2. The design of interactions at the level of the product/technological architecture (modularity, encapsulation, information hiding)
  1. Governance of the infrastructures needed by the Online Creation Communities
    1. According to Mayo Fuster Morell, five main models of online infrastructure provision can be distinguished: 1) Corporation services, 2) mission enterprises, 3) university networks, 4) representational foundations and 5) assemblearian collective self-provision
  2. The forms of governance/ownership/income distribution for the derived and monetizable service and market-oriented production models that derive from commons-related projects
    1. Modes of capital organization
    2. Modes of property organization
    3. Modes of revenue sharing with commercial partners (includes netarchical and vectoralist partners)
  3. Political governance models for the whole of society that are inspired by peer to peer models or principles
  4. Political philosophies and governance proposals inspired by peer to peer (egalitarian) ideals.


Key Blog Entries

Check out the Archive of the P2P Foundation blog on P2P Hierarchy Theory, for a full record on our articles.

Key Delicious Tags

Key Articles

  • The Politics of Code in Web 2.0. 'Essay: Mapping Commercial Web 2.0 Worlds: Towards a New Critical Ontogenesis. By Ganaele Langlois, Fenwick McKelvey, Greg Elmer, and Kenneth Werbin. Fibreculture Journal, Issue 14. [11]
  • Marjorie Kelly: Not Just For Profit: Emerging alternatives to the shareholder-centric model could help companies avoid ethical mishaps and contribute more to the world at large. Explores three new-style corporate designs: 1. stakeholder-owned companies; 2. mission-controlled companies; and 3. public-private hybrids.


Theoretical essays:

  1. The Corporation as a Collaborative Community. Charles Heckscher & Paul Adler. Absolutely remarkable history of organizational forms as distinct coordination mechanisms. [15]
  2. Panarchy: Governance in the Network Age: towards a state that isn't a state?

Special topic: Governance and conflict in free culture communities

  1. Play Struggle, excerpts of the book Hacking Capitalism by Johan Soderbergh.
  2. Considering Participatory Design and Governance in Player Culture by T.L. Taylor: Players are central productive agents in game culture and more progressive models are needed for understanding and integrating their work in these spaces. Drawing on the long tradition of participatory design this piece explores some alternative frameworks for understanding the designer/player relationship.
  3. The Governance of Virtual Worlds. Thomas M. Malaby (focuses on Second Life as case study)
  4. Inequality in Synthetic Worlds. Edward Castronova.
  5. Klang, Mathias, "Avatar: From Deity to Corporate Property - A Philosophical Inquiry into Digital Property in Online Games
  6. Contrasting Proprietary and Free/Open Source Game Development, Alessandro Rossi & Marco Zamarian
  7. Moore, Christopher. 2005. "Commonising The Enclosure: Online Games And Reforming Intellectual Property Regimes." Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society 3(2): examine the potential for computer game studies to contribute to an understanding of an alternative intellectual property regime known as the commons
  8. Virtual Worlds and their Discontents: precarious sovereignty, governmentality, and the ideology of play. Essay by Julian Kucklich to be published in: games & culture (special issue on virtual worlds, edited by thomas malaby and dan hunter).
  9. Authorization and Governance in Virtual Worlds. by Dan L. Burk. [16]
  10. Who Owns the Mods? by Yong Ming Kow and Bonnie Nardi. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 5 - 3 May 2010 [17]
  11. The rewards of non–commercial production: Distinctions and Status in the Anime Music Video Scene. by Mizuko Ito. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 5 - 3 May 2010 [18]

Key Books


  1. Ruling the Root. Milton L. Mueller. Excellent review of technical issues related to the technical governance of the internet, but I have to question a book which says that the internet is dead as a locus for innovation. (MB)

Key Graphical Representations

Compiled by David Ronfeldt [20]:

  1. The Four TIMN Forms Compared: model from David Ronfeldt
  2. William Ouchi: Organizational Failures Framework
  3. Walter Powell: Forms of Economic Organization
  4. Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps: Four Ages of Organization
  5. Bob Jessop: Typology of Forms of Governance
  6. Mark Considine and Jenny Lewis: Governance Types
  7. Federico Iannacci and Eve Mitleton–Kelly: Triarchy of Organizational Forms
  8. Paul Adler and Charles Heckscher: Three Principles of Social Organization

Key Resources

Read his summary: A Spectrum of Politics and Governance Grounded in Empowered Citizen Dialogue and Deliberation, [21]

  • There is an extraordinary collection of concrete research on the governance of peer production communities (Debian, Apache), accessible from here [22], which leads to two seminar pages here [23] and here

[24]. If you know French, this is highly recommended.

Multimedia in the Governance Category

The following lists contain the 5 most recent pages in the Governance Category and each of the categories in turn.

The P2P Governance Encyclopedia


This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.


Pages in category "Governance"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 1,596 total.

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