[ALAC] At-Large: Part of the Private Sector? Part of Civil Society?
alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Mon Aug 31 15:58:51 UTC 2015
These two questions seem to be coming up regularly. The current draft
proposal of the CCWG-Accountability refers to ICANN being leg by the
"Private Sector (as opposed to the Public Sector - Governments), and
includes us in the Civil society part of the private sector.
Looking at definitions can be useful. There are many of both terms.
The most common definition of the Private Sector says it is
everything that is not funded or controlled by government. Many
definitions even explicitly list individuals as part of it. That
certainly includes us.
Some definitions talk about three groups, the public sector, the
private sector (referring to for-profit organizations) and the
"Voluntary Sector". The latter certainly includes the formal parts of
At-Large, but really leaves individuals, who are no longer part of
ANY of the sectors.
From my perspective, that means that if we are part of the "Private
Sector", we better be explicitly listed as such.
I would appreciate hearing how these terms are defined in other
languages and cultures.
The Wikipedia defines Civil Society as "aggregate of non-governmental
organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of
citizens." Civil society includes the family and the private sphere,
referred to as the "third sector" of society, distinct from
government and business.
The World Bank has a more detailed definition: the term civil society
to refer to the wide array of non-governmental and not-for-profit
organizations that have a presence in public life, expressing the
interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical,
cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic
considerations. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) therefore refer to
a wide of array of organizations: community groups, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable
organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations,
In both definitions, Civil Society is listed as essentially being
defines as groups of one form or another. By those definitions,
At-large and our components parts are certainly civil society, but
the individuals whose interests we defend are not part of civil society per se.
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