Summer 2010 Editor's Note

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Our Summer 2010 special issue marks a noteworthy juncture for gnovis, both in the diversification of our journal and in the engagement of the CCT community. This themed issue features papers from the students of Professor JP Singh’s Fall 2009 Global Governance and Deliberation class, making this our first issue solely dedicated to a CCT course.

Papers in this issue represent interdisciplinarity where communication, culture and technology reveal their relationship to one another in global governance. In thoughtful ways, these papers unpack global communicative practices by examining the media and international deliberative processes; considering the often-veiled cultural influences at work in international decision-making bodies; and implicitly pointing to the effects of a densely networked world.

In our first paper, Rhetorical Reframing: Reflexive Discourse in Environmental Deliberations, Brian Mehler investigates the rhetorical practices developing African nations can employ to advantageously reframe debates surrounding pertinent issue areas such as climate change. Mehler examines the ways Sudanese diplomat Lumumba Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping used reflexive discourse to challenge Western powers to reshape deliberations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

In Taking it to the Next Level: The Internationalization of Domestic Norms and Intangible Cultural Heritage, Hilla Meller considers the creation and adoption of international cultural norms. Meller uses the case of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage to argue that cultural norms first develop on the national level, and are then internationally disseminated through the efforts of norm entrepreneurs, whom she positions as critical to the norm-adoption process.

Bita Dadfar grapples with questions of spirituality in A Spiritual Exigency Behind Global Governance and Deliberation in the 21st Century. In this work, Dadfar points to spirituality as a powerful motivating factor in international deliberative processes. Dadfar then analyzes the Baha’i International Community of United Nations to demonstrate the ways in which spirituality can heighten consciousness, raising the potential for effective global governance and deliberation.

In Non-Traditional Media’s Struggle for Legitimacy: Missed Opportunities at the World Summit on the Information Society, author Lauren Burgoon explores emerging media’s participation in global governance. Burgoon offers up explanations for new media’s difficulty in global legitimacy and participation, and uses the World Summit on the Information Society as a case study to explore opportunities for new media to participate in global deliberative forums.

Kara Hadge also tackles questions of legitimacy through an examination of the World Summit on the Information Society in her work Legitimacy and Accountability in Internet Governance: Civil Society Participation in the World Summit on the Information Society. Hadge argues civil society’s legitimate participation in global Internet governance relies on the close collaboration of the state, business community and civil society. She concludes that multilateral deliberation appears to be the best solution for global Internet governance.

Finally, in The Fourth Estate’s Influence on Deliberative Democracies: Media Framing of the 2008 US-South Korea Beef Imports Controversy, author Helen Cho examines media effects on citizen deliberation. Using the beef controversy between South Korea and the US as an example, Cho unpacks the CNN effect and posits that media framing that empathizes with audiences can ignite public deliberations, which can ultimately lead to policy change.

On behalf of the authors and the gnovis staff, I would like to thank Professor JP Singh, who saw gnovis as a forum for his students to showcase their work, and encouraged them to do so. A special thank you to our brilliant and reliable volunteer peer reviewers as well, as your continued dedication to gnovis’ mission is much appreciated.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the gnovis staff for all of their hard work this summer. Lastly, thank you to our Editor-in-Chief, Lydia Kelow-Bennett, for her unparalleled leadership and the many ways in which she encourages and supports gnovis’ growth. With that, I give you our Summer 2010 Issue on Global Governance and Deliberation.


Akoto Ofori-Atta

Managing Journal Editor