Title: A Roadmap to the Successful Cascade of the Global Decision-Making Model

ID: 59cfcf3a1349ad684150a032

Language: English

1. Abstract

Calls for new global governance have come from all corners of the world and from all fields of social science as an answer to today’s global challenges.[1] The present “anarchy” has allowed human-made global conflicts to grow with little mitigation planning and an erosion of resilience. While the UN has instituted treaties, accords, and conventions to alleviate some of these social conflicts, the critics are numerous in their calls for more action now to reconcile these conflicts and improve social justice.

What if the interrogation is not about changing the structure of the global governance but in finding means to increase the level of accountability and transparency in the negotiation of global affairs? Maybe it is in the access of those invited to attend to the questions and the wicked problems facing humanity as a whole? These questions are applicable to the present quests of empowering the Paris Accord, Indigenous Rights, and the nuclear ban negotiations. These questions lead to the quest of finding out how nations negotiate global norms. 

Negotiations require a minimum of two parties with two different opinions. Similarly, global negotiations should require the participation of all those sharing this world. The current political structure of the global environment is described as anarchic, but it is argued that it is a quasi-political structure since its main body, the UN, functions by negotiations through national representatives designated by the elected representatives of each nation. In its 70 years of existence, the UN has equipped itself with different bodies and agencies to fulfill its mandate. However, other international ad hoc collectives have been formed to take important decisions outside of the UN. Organizations such as the G7 and G20, through national designated representatives, have given themselves mandates to negotiate in exclusive forums political and economic decisions. Other organizations such as Davos invites national designated representatives, often of the highest rank, to discuss mandates related to a stabilized power base and social cohesion, as per their own “exclusive” definitions, to influence economic and military alliances in the secrecy afforded by their agreed-upon organizational norms.

In comparison, citizens and civil societies organizations (CSOs) and their academic partners have had little to no access to global decisions. Authors agree that efficient pressure for social change at the global level can only be done through civil society and their members because the economic actors and their allied governments use their resources and power to keep up the stability of the existing systems and block the access to wealth for half of the population of the world. Social change is a key driver for civic membership in CSOs and social movement.

No matter what will be the constitutional elements of the selected global government decision-making model by the Global Challenges Foundation, it will have to first be approved as a global normative change. As such, it will require to be developed in such a way as to become a UN treaty, a convention, or accord in order to be accepted and operationalized by all nations. 

A normative change in the decision-making process as a tool of global governance is far less gripping that one affecting the use of military weapons that have been the sole prerogative of national interest. However, security issues carry a heavy emotional toll on citizens and, with political support, national military forces have had no problem keeping their doctrine and toolkits for deterrence, as well as defensive and offensive operations. Today, the global annual budget for war is estimated at $13.6T. Hence, this research proposes to showcase the lessons learned from a successful normative change with the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT).[2]Antipersonnel mines were tools for military engineers around the world. They were used strategically to protect troops or to deny access to camps and withdrawal routes during violent conflicts. However, long after the conflicts were resolved, they laid dormant as hidden killers and non-discriminatory assailants to civilians now living in peace.

As such, antipersonnel mines were not the cause of violent conflicts but they became the source of friction between a number of transnational organizations and the military and political will of many nations. This conflict was situated at the moral level between the right to use them for protection and their ban in order to prevent, stop, and minimize damage after a conflict. The antagonist views between the right to national security and the right to human security are not exclusive to the issues of antipersonnel mines but are at the roots of other issues of critical security. 

The MBT treaty was built outside of the UN disarmament process. It stands as a beacon of light for CSOs as they were involved to jointly built and led the treaty with multiple governments. The treaty is still in place after 20 years of success even though the USA, Russia, and China, as of the end of 2017, have yet to be signatories. Although the successful campaign for the MBT is often referred as the “perfect storm” and even though today the global context is different, the analysis of the MBT roadmap has underlined constitutive relational and procedural elements that can be transposed to other global normative changes. 

This research can be read in two different ways as it can be a roadmap for a chosen model or it can itself become a decision-making process. The angle belongs to the reader. Like any relational and procedural outline, this roadmap will require adjustments once a model is selected.

I believe whole-heartedly that this roadmap is constructive to positive social cohesion.

[1] Accreditations to the majority of authors have been removed and are available upon request.

[2] The formal title is the ‘Convention on Prohibitions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects’.

2. Description of the model

1. Variances in the Context

1.1. Theoretical Context

The grounding article for this roadmap is International Norm Dynamics and Political Change by Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink.[1] They propose a theory for the creation process of a norm with a constructivist assessment and argue concepts such as realism versus idealism and legitimacy versus ideology in international affairs. Their analysis includes the place of norms, their origins, the mechanisms of influence and their outreach in world politics. I retain here their life-cycle model of norm based on three phases: 1) the emergence, 2) the norm cascade involving a decision-making process for acceptance, and 3) the operationalization or internationalization when each nation brings back the new norm inside their national organizations and the new norm is fully applied and deployed at the global level. One major trigger of success of the cascade is the threshold called “tipping point” in which a critical mass of nations decides together to adopt a new norm. They argued that different actors, different motives, and different mechanism of influence characterize each stage. This roadmap is based on these three phases.

1.2. Context for MBT 

Authors have suggested that the end of the Cold War was conducive to shifting the attention from the spectre of nuclear weapons to the actual wars on the ground, and the conventional weapons used to fight them. As such, an opportunity window was created for discussions of anti-personal mines (APM).

CSOs such as the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) became norm entrepreneurs. They raised public awareness on the impacts of APM through information sessions and by acting as advocacy groups in order to influence national governments. Working from outside the UN disarmament process, CSOs moved the emergence process forward under a reframed label of human security. In what appears to be an organic process, organizations started to conglomerate under the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). The ICBL was launched in October 1992; it comprised six NGOs, who agreed to initiate an international campaign to issue a “Joint Call to Ban Antipersonnel Landmines.” They hosted the first NGO-sponsored international landmine conference in May 1993. Soon, the ICBL was composed of over 1,000 NGOs from over 60 countries. Labelled a “global civil society”, it was a transnational network of social groups and organizations. 

The UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali was an outspoken proponent for the MBT as were various UN agencies such as the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) and the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UN General Assembly also condemned the use of APM, and its resolutions have served to legitimize their elimination both before and after the MBT. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) was created by the UN General Assembly’s first Special Session on Disarmament (UNSSOD I) in 1978 as a single global negotiating forum for the discussion of arms control. It reached an important milestone in 1993 with the Chemical Weapons Convention. 

The 1980 Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)[2], entered into force in 1983, was the first treaty that attempted to control the use of AP mines. The CCW includes 10 articles and three protocols on explicit limits imposed on certain weapons; the limits on AP mines are included in Protocol II. 1993 was a landmark year in the CCW process since any signatory state could call for a review conference. Four governmental sessions were subsequently held in Geneva in 1994 and early 1995 for the review of the CCW landmine protocol. The UN Secretary-General was first to invite ICRC to attend the preparations for the 1995 Review Conference, in which ICRC were allowed to participate fully. However, it was unsuccessful in moving the issue of APM to resolution. Nevertheless, meetings were being held regularly on the issue and there were already signs of agreements among some nations that the dysfunctions of the CD were no excuses for inaction. This was the set-up as the close of the emergence phase of the MBT prior to the Ottawa Process in October 1996.

1.3. The Environment of the UN system

The UN system is composed of the Security Council, the General Assembly, and a series of agencies responsible for various files in a somewhat integrated system. For decades, reforms have been recommended with no real change. The system is dependent on its sponsors, their priority setting, and their level of funding. Some agencies like the WFO and UNCHR have less capacity and resilience than decades ago.[3] The UN has many silos (departmental territorialities) and is not an efficient organization but it is the sole global body that has the capacity to create a space of dialogue, recommendation, and decision-making with the inclusion of accredited nations.

UN agencies were involved in the success of the Ottawa process including the office of the Secretary-General, and the offices of UNDP and UNCHR. They were allied inside the UN system, which supported the distribution of information and provided resources such as meeting rooms and staff power. Their support was provided despite the fact that the ongoing UN consultative disarmament body failed to build a collective resolution for the APM on a consensus-based process. 

Is the proposed model of the decision-making system intended as part of the Security Council, or as part of the General Assembly, or throughout the full UN system? The planning and implementation of campaign’s tools will have to be developed in different levels of the system depending on the width and depth of the proposed implementation of the new decision-making model. Allied agency from inside the UN system would be an added bonus in the development and success of a new global normative change for decision-making. However, they would be essential for a larger and wider organizational structural implementation.

1.4. The Invisible Hands

In the MBT, the “invisible hand”[4] was that of the military industrial complex producing the APM in many different countries. Although they were not officially invited to the discussions during the cascade process, they were, however, present during the September 1997 Oslo conference. Indeed, industry representatives were trying to convince nations of the benefit of smart mines with the potential to hijack the intent of a full ban with no compromise. However, it also because of military allies that the MBT was a success, as a military option was found to replace APM in a defensive role and a community of retired and serving military members campaigned for a full ban.

It is anticipating that in the context of a new global decision-making model the challenges from “invisible hands” would likely come from three areas. The first resistance would likely be internal, as UN bureaucrats might fear that the proposed changes would affect their personal job and status. Then, the second defiance would be external, coming from transnational corporations. They are major agents of influence since they are acting as financial sponsors to UN agencies and the national political campaigns of major and middle powers countries. Therefore, it would be expected that they would resist any changes to the actual anarchic context that allow them to influence norms to their advantage. The last area of resistance is anticipated from the P5 in their ability and capacity to ensure that there are no changes made to the present veto system.

The branding and marketing of any new decision-making model would have to be constructed in such a way as to ensure that the “invisible hands” find no grip for pre-emptive measures AND that they find instead advantages to the proposal.

2. Roadmap for a Global Normative Change Process

There are generally two scenarios in conflict resolution. The first scenario involves people who come together with a shared intent that becomes the focus by which everything else is built upon, such as the assignment of roles and responsibilities, assignation of resources, and the joint campaign planning. Under the second scenario, parties have been in conflicts for a period of time and are unable to find exemplars or connectors to come together to support the resolution of the issue. Therefore, an independent third-party designates a facilitator or mediator who through time will build the shared intent and will then proceed, if mandated, with the organizational requirements to collectively work towards to the agreed upon resolution.

In the MBT, that was clearly the exemplars’ and connectors’ leadership, readiness and willingness to establish the required partnerships throughout the world to achieve success. So what are an exemplar and a connector? 

The exemplar is a concept developed by Duyndam[5] as a definition of an inspirational role model behind a relationship that represents a moral agent with courage, perseverance, justice, and/or generosity. An exemplar must show these traits not only in their discourse but, most importantly, in their actions. An exemplar can only be recognized through demonstrations of moral actions. In a norm-building context, this requirement would entail others speaking of the exemplar’s specific leadership qualities and actions to establish and maintain partnerships. These same actions would have to be identified as catalysts for another agent’s action in support of the cascade process, thereby affecting a change or evolution of a normative process. Participants in the Ottawa process clearly identified Lloyd Axworthy as an exemplar. His sustained political courage, credibility, and global leadership were strong structural elements of all his relationships in national and international partnerships.

The connector is a concept I observed in my analysis of the Ottawa process. The main characteristics of a connector are their willingness and readiness to reach out to the others’ worldview, which is understood in a simplistic manner as “the organizational culture and norms.” The connector can work either on the edge or deep inside the others’ worldview. While they are working with the others, their relational intentions include the will to allow for a flow of information and resources, to listen with a view to generate collaboration and corporation, to act as a “translator” as the language of business may be different – such as, for example, the language between engineers and architects-, and, finally and most importantly, to nurture the relationship with other connectors so that their authentic relationship acts as grounding for the whole of the partnership.

2.1. Emergence - Localized

2.1.1. Norm Entrepreneur

National and transnational CSOs have sought new ways of behaving together and establishing new rules for society with the hope to rally national leaderships that in turn can take their requests to the higher level of the UN system either through the Security Council or through the General Assembly since the inception of the UN system.

One consistent major challenge of any new proposal for a global norm is the volume, intensity, and complexity of crises that are challenging the UN and the national leaderships around the world. Therefore, it is thought provoking to bring a new project such as a decision-making model or even one element of decision-making such as a system of priority to dedicate scarce resources at the disposal for the resolution of common global challenges.

In the emergence phase of the life cycle of a normative change, one or a few CSOs with credibility and resources are leading the idea, the new suggested norm. In order to be successful, they have to find the means by which they will first have other CSOs joining them to create a coalition with the goal of giving the project a required volume of interest. This creation of interest is to convince elected politicians that indeed it's in their political and national interest to be involved and become a norm leader since it takes a minimum of one nation to start leading the cascade project. Therefore, one of the tasks of this norm entrepreneur is to frame the issue or the model in such a way that it will create social interest and stir emotions. This combination of emotional information is key for each individual to join a new organization and for the organization to convince itself of the value of the model. Thus, one of the tasks of any new norm to be led by a CSO is answering the question“what's in it for me?” 

In the MBT, the main answer was about the impact of mines in the daily lives of people around the world. Indeed, APM had an impact on agriculture, survival, medical requirements to cater to the loss of limbs, as well as women and children issues. In addition, it became an issue of morals that was pinning the tenets of international political realism. Consequently, one lesson to retain is to construct an effective discourse to reach out to CSOs, to citizens, to elected officials and to UN agencies and national ministries that could be impacted by the proposal. 

Internal national discourses were required to reframe the issue of landmines, between the ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defence and between CSOs. Discourses were required for pro-nation government representatives to reach out to other nations and for Canadian CSOs to support the transnational organizations in their outreach for the project. An important lesson was the need to find a reliable and effective alternative to the APM’s defensive role. 

In a similar fashion, the selected decision-making model will require the development of intelligent discourses for officials in the UN system, for the national level of elected officials to “buy-in” the new model with the understanding that far from being a threat, it will instead become an improvement in their political organization and might even sustain their power base. The discourses need to answer how the model will improve the achievement of everyone’s mandate and vision in the long run.

One crucial element in the MBT was the ability for people in the field, in the mine-affected regions of the world, to collect information and bring it back to their organization onwards to the central organization of the ICRC and ICBL. One such data was the number of people dying and losing limbs every day. This information caught the public’s imagination and indignation. So how can the decision-making model be “outrageous” enough to spark the public’s imagination, entice public opinion and convince citizens to give their time, get involved in CSOs and/or give their money to fund such a campaign?

The campaign money is another major concern. The MBT sparked people’s outrage and anger and rallied millions around the issue. Although there is no record of its required financing, it is safe to say that hundreds of millions of dollars were required to create the volume of interest necessary to encourage national elected official interest and, finally, 14 months later in December 1997 in Ottawa, to obtain 122 nations to sign a treaty that became an official UN treaty a few months later.

Another aspect of the success of the MBT is the fact that the issue was really seen as a crisis because of the thousands of people that were harmed or killed by landmines every day. This degree of urgency was an authentic pressure on elected politicians to seek a rapid decision and resolution. The acknowledged crisis situation allowed for the maintenance of the momentum in the campaign.

2.2. Cascade

2.2.1. A Nation as Norm Leader

For the successful cascade of a global normative change, there is a requirement for a national leader or a coalition of national leaders to take a stand and become the norm leader(s). The MBT experience underlines the multi-layered internal national political partnerships that must be in place for the leading country to remain strong from beginning to end of the cascade phase. 

To continuously project political courage, the internal leader must first have the support of the political leader of this country. In addition, he or she must have the support from the many constitutive elements of the country’s parliamentary system, along with a few strong champions on all levels. There must be coherence among all the voices of every major national ministry so that it is clear, both internally and externally, that the country stands with one voice in reference to the proposed norm. The minister of Foreign affairs of the leading country must be ready and committed to act has the lead of a hub-and-spoke system to encourage all his or her colleagues of every other national ministry of foreign affairs to join the new project. Their ministry must have the capacity and the ability to establish a dedicated division to co-manage with a national coalition of CSOs the momentum of the campaign. This means that there must be a coalition of national CSOs with the capacity to become or to work with a transnational organization that will act as sponsor and champion of the new norm. Ideally, at that stage, there would already be at least one transnational organization that would have declared itself in alignment with the proposed vision. The width and length of direct and indirect links between the national political government leaders and these transnational norm organizations are directly proportional to the possibility of reaching a tipping point for the cascade phase. 

One major opportunity for the proposed challenge project is an early identification of the potential countries that would be ideal norm leaders because it would support a rapid evolution of the campaign. Rapid, meaning faster than the one behind the ban of the nuclear weapon, which has been going on for over 70 years. As such, it is proposed that a parallel process develops indicators in a campaign for recruiting a national norm leader as soon as the model is chosen. In addition, it is recommended that the launch of the proposed norm not be made public until there is a clear plan of action for the cascade phase which would have a stronger impetus with a self-declared national leader.

2.2.2. Celebrities – A Nice to Have

Well-known celebrities adopting the project supports the imagination of other levels of society not particularly interested in the “political” context, adding to the volume of engaged citizens. 

For example, the devastating impact of APMs became headlines as a result of the work of high-profile campaigners such as Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II, former US president Jimmy Carter, and Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General. The first government official to take action was Patrick Leahy, a US Democratic senator from Vermont, whose initiative placed the United States in the lead as the first country to enact domestic legislation on landmines in 1992. This step led by a major country provided a tremendous impetus and was viewed as having a significant psychological and development impact on moving the cause forward.

2.2.3. Norm Partnership

No matter in which context a new norm is being considered, either for a military campaign, a project or program under the organizational premises of the Project Management Institute, a business manager or a small community organization, one essential element of success is building trust between the partners involved. The capacity of building trust early in the process of the partnership and the ability to maintain a level of trust are essential to the success of the project. Building trust is both a relational and procedural dynamic of partnerships. On the relational side, members of parties must come to a place where they can be vulnerable and demonstrate behaviours that inspire positive expectations to create the ability to rely on each other. On the procedural aspect, trust should be built on a process such as the selection and the maintenance towards the shared intent, the ability to share leadership in a manner that is complementary to all parties; here I retain the five typologies of co-leadership in front, beside, behind, in the field, and within. One additional element to define is the content and distribution of shared power among partners. Rules of engagement 

The second essential component for successful partnership leading normative changes is the rules of engagement (ROEs) by which all parties agree to work together. The ROEs can be as simple as confirming in a project charter the agreed-upon schedule, resources, and agreement on risk mitigation. Lessons learned from the MBT and their unofficial and organic ROES place priorities on shared information and the maintenance of the campaign momentum. Campaign

The third element for successful norm partnership is the ability and capability to plan, lead, and implement a campaign. Lessons learned from the MBT demonstrated that one essential element was the designation of a deadline for the end of the cascade phase by the self-designated national leader, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1996, Lloyd Axworthy. Along with the daily reminder of the loss of lives caused by the APM, that deadline created a sense of crisis, which became a strong motivator for rapid engagement and high sustainment and momentum.This crisis, in turn, sustained and pre-empted the pressures of the huge volume of other priorities in global affairs.

The tempo and momentum of the campaign required that all parties were able to adapt, refocus, reprioritize, and work, from both a strategic and tactical level of thinking, in order to maintain the speed and cascade phenomenon.Another campaign requirement was the ability to create fundraising capacity and the capability to share these resources. The fundraising campaign was run concurrently with the growth of their organization in addition to supporting the nations with lesser capacity and the transnational organizations to organize, among other things, the creation and implementation of regional meetings.

One extraordinary lesson from the MBT and one element of a military campaign is the application of surprise. Indeed, surprise appears as a catalyst to cascading a normative change. It is a strategic factor that is used sparsely. The roadmap allows for its inclusion in the emergence, cascade or a combination of both. During the emergence stage, a surprise could include the opportunity for a prize, a citizen referendum to take to the UN, and as previously mentioned, the possibility of engaging a national norm leader early in the process through recruiting or lobbying. At the cascade level, there are the possibilities a somewhat secret endorsement of nations to be announced during the launch and an announcement of a process and a short deadline, as seen during the Ottawa process..

2.3. Operationalization – National and International levels

There are three major elements for a successful operationalization of normative change. The first is the development and acceptance of an action plan at the global level while in the cascade face to leverage enthusiasm and hope from all its participants. At minimum, the action plan should establish the date for the next meeting, the lead for that meeting, and the establishment of a dedicated body for the deployment of the global norm and its required resources including the required budget and the process of monitoring. The project management office then acts as a dedicated group and central repository of knowledge gained from the emergence and the cascade phases and continues the development and deployment of knowledge and actions for the long-term sustainability of the new norm. The lessons learned from the MBT demonstrate that the Canadian government established a national mine ambassador and the pro-nations agreed to a monitoring process, the Landmine Monitor, under the leadership of the CSOs to act as “honest brokers” of national actions. These two simple actions supported a larger organic partnership to sustain the MBT over the last 20 years.

The second element is the awareness around the concept of “sham compliance” in which nation signing the commitment could have no real intent to comply to its required financial contribution, required actions or final ratification of the final treaty. As such, the action plan must develop a clear assessment of risks to deployment in order to develop a risk management plan and its mitigation measures. 

Therefore, the third element is the continuous support of the core pro-nations partnership to encourage sustained championship at a national level and provide links back to the project management office to discreetly support required tools and resources. 

2.3.1. Implementation

If the goal of the new model of decision-making was to provide new dynamics for transparent accountability to truthfully work towards harmony, social justice, and respect in a structure of continuous improvement, then organizational facilitators would be great additions for the establishment and monitoring of the decision-making model towards a more effective and focused working environment at the UN.

This inclusion of organizational facilitators is in alignment with the public and private sectors which hired facilitators and mediators in order to bring together parties in conflict towards resolution or parties that needed some coaching and challengers in order to work towards a shared intent or towards a new organizational restructure. An example includes UN mediators who regularly are going into conflict zones to support a space of dialogue so that parties can come and share their issues knowing that there will be real listening and a transparent effort to accommodate their requirements into a joint resolution. However, the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and other UN agencies have not yet considered the insertion of such facilitators and mediators inside their negotiation and decision-making bodies.

2.4. Biggest Challenges

Six major challenges are anticipated in the planning and implementation of this roadmap. The first challenge is the reframing of the discourse to affect two transformations: 1) at the individual level in order to generate an engagement from citizens, and 2) at the collective level, for partnerships and organizations, with local national or regional mandate towards the achievement of this selected model. The second challenge is in creating the right powerful mix of emotions to encourage the engagement of the citizens in a way that empowers them to act. The third challenge is in the capacity of CSOs to engage the public opinion and their national elected representatives to become a pro-nation towards the achievement of the selected goal. A fourth challenge is the capacity to quickly understand who and what are the barriers to the operationalization of the selected goal as to quickly develop mitigation measures and messages to counteract their actions in a constructive manner. A fifth challenge is the colossal matter of real harmony within the Security Council considering the veto right of the P5. CSOs have pondered the question of how to remove the P5 veto rights with alternatives with no solution in sight. Even the proposal for insertion of organizational facilitators to support a decision-making process would not be enough. Would the removal of the veto right be an “a priori” any new norm of decision-making is unknown. However, there is hope as the recent leadership demonstrated within the General Assembly with the July 2017 negotiations for a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Finally, a sixth challenge is the present-day US disruptive management of global affairs. Indeed, every day since the 2017 January inauguration, there has been news of fragmentation, division, militarisation, and increased levels of anger around the world. This “leadership” situation is obviously a challenge but it is also an opportunity. It is a challenge to major and middle power nations since they are being bullied and punished to support the US. On the other hand, it is an opportunity, as seen by the “movement of social movements” of CSOs that are supporting each other in working in unity and creating more collaboration, cooperation, and finding ways and means to listen to citizens in forums outside of the political domain.

2.5. Conclusion 

A pragmatic analysis notes that the MBT required an incredible volume of time and effort by the global society to agree to abolish a small mine worth a few dollars. The mine was a tangible object and the victims were real and available to share their testimony so it was easier for the Imagined Global Governancewithout APMs.

An ideal analysis notes that the “circle of military might” was broken. Other good news followed in the wake of the MBT such as the ban on cluster mines, the setup of the International Criminal Court and the rights of the child. Even a concept challenging the right to nation sovereignty, like the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), was brought close to operationalization. However 9/11 happened and since then a “circle of terror” has imposed its heavy shackles on global affairs with no end in sight. 

Therefore, two additional requests are added to this submission. The first is that the selected decision-making model tackles the reality of security in international relationships. At this time one must strategize keeping in mind five possible threats to global affairs: 1) a world war, 2) a global pandemic challenge, 3) an environmental destruction, 4) an economy collapse either created (like the American 2008 financial scam) or the implosion of China as the main econometric leader at this time, and 5) a nuclear attack. Thus, the second request is that the new model of decision-making be deployed quickly as a tool of resilience and recovery to prepare nations to stand together to take care of the global citizens in the aftermath of these threats.

The challenge of the soon-to-be selected decision-making model is a welcome and timely addition to the security of humanity. 

[1] Finnemore, Martha, and Kathryn Sikkink. “International Norm Dynamics and Political Change.” International Organization 52.4 (1998): 887–917. Print.

[2] The formal title is the ‘Convention on Prohibitions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects’.

[3] As of September 2017, more than 152 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance globally however humanitarian’s funding levels are faltering and are on average barely 30% funded. There are 65.6M displaced people worldwide, 22.5M refugees with 17.2M under UNCHR mandate, 10M people stateless. This situation is concurrent with the fact that Africa is facing the worst food crisis since 1945 and millions of its citizens could die in the coming months and, according to WFO, one in nine people go hungry every night.

[4] Concept to describe agents often hidden and influencing the status quo,

[5]Duyndam, Joachim. “Hermeneutical Mimesis”. In René Girard and Creative Mimesis, edited by Vern N. Redekop and Thomas Ryba, 249–258. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2014. Print.

3. Motivation

Assessment of the roadmap 

1. Core Values

Three core values should be considered to enhance the success of the cascade of the proposed decision-making model. First, the value of social justice which over the last century has been defined as equity, meritocracy, and access to basic needs. Recently, authors have defined social justice as access to opportunities that allow people to live their life to its full potential. If finding an agreement on its definition appears daunting, on the other hand, social justice can also be looked at as an opportunity to create links with existing CSO's mandate and vision to more easily obtain their engagement. 

The second core value is morals as a counterbalance to the prevalent political vision offered by realism. The MBT project had two strong moral emphases. The first moral issue rested on the IHL’s legal concept of the proportionality of the negative impacts of APMs compared to the military intent. The second was the concept of the soldier’s ethos in the decision to kill or not when faced with an enemy. This ethos is impossible to consider when the APMs are left on a former battlefield that may be used agriculturally when resources are scarce.

Lastly, I would suggest that core values should include “unity in diversity.” This value would allow for unity-based leadership, as unity becomes the primary shared intent. The content and processes of the roadmap and/or the decision-making model should align to ensure that unity is put first with no compromises. With the fragmentation of many societies due to minority rights and self-determination, this concept could support “positive nationalism” for governments and has great potential appeal for a majority of CSOs.

2. Decision-Making Capacity

There are two major levels of capacity to consider for successful implementation. The first capacity rests with the individual’s skills, experience, risk threshold, and ability to make decisions in collaboration. The second level of capacity is the degree of organizational buy-in into the shared intent by each member of a partnership. This endorsement of the goal establishes guidelines for a positive cohesive team approach. Based on one author’s business approach, the five steps would require the following from their members: “1) they trust one another, 2) they engage in unfiltered conflicts around ideas, 3) they commit to decisions and plans of action, 4) they hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans, and 5) they focus on the achievement of collective results.” It's also the ability of the leaders of the organization to break down unhealthy partnership silos as they emerge. Therefore, concepts of adaptable leadership, emotional leadership, and level of consciousness should be considered when hiring people involved in the development of the chosen decision-making model to enhance their ability to become connectors with CSOs and governments alike.

3. Effectiveness of the Roadmap

Five elements are considered major factors for the efficacy of the roadmap. The first one is the choice of shared intent. This goal should be as simple as possible, making it easy to define for each organization willing to embrace its vision. Case in point, the full content of the MBT was agreed upon in September 1997, which was in fact 11 months after the start of the cascade and only three months before the signatures of the 122 nations. The originator of the model should be clear about what compromises, if any, would be acceptable and should clearly define what success would look like once the implementation of the model is operationalized.

Three elements for effectiveness have already been mentioned in the quality of leadership in the forms of exemplars and the connectors, the quality of the partnerships, and the capacity of co-leadership among members of the partnership.

The last one, the ability to create and monitor the progress of the roadmap, is best expressed through the evaluation of momentum of the three phases in normative changes. The quality of the campaign for the emergence phase should create the steps of an elaborate plan for consultation in order to gain a substantial level of endorsement on behalf of the of CSOs. Once the cascade phase has started, the national norm leader should use all its national alliances and attend all their fora during the designated period. The national norm leader should leverage all connections with other governments and CSO people. Every opportunity to meet someone on a one-on-one basis has the potential for that person to become an individual hub-and-spoke. Then his or her whole network has the capability to create the web of networks and relations to support the progress in the roadmap.

The monitoring of the progress can be done with selected indicators for each phase starting with the number of CSOs and networks of CSOs during the emergence phase, the number of nations in the pro-nation coalition during the cascade phase and the success of the new decision-making model in providing for more accountability, transparency and positive actions on the ground. 

4. Resources and Financing

There are five levels of resources and financing available to sustain global norm change. The first one is the ability for the CSOs to develop and sustain fundraising from the citizens around the world. The second possibility is the agglomerate of national governments funding, particularly from the national norm entrepreneur, followed by pro-nations. The third level is potentially getting a UN agency to support the project. The fourth level may be provided by known celebrities who may directly provide funding or participate in fundraising events. Lastly, I would suggest that there is the possibility of funding from corporations that find that their vision and mandate is in alignment with the proposed model. They could be encouraged to participate, particularly if their national home base is providing them with a tax break. There is also the possibility that one country could decide to become a tax haven for such corporations.

It’s important to note that resources and financing are not limited to money but a large component is offered in-kind in terms of people’s time and the availability of resources such as equipment, meeting rooms, and means of communication, to name a few.

5. Trust and Insight

Trust is a most essential element for the success of the roadmap, as mentioned previously. 

As for the level of insight required to successfully cascade a new normative change, it is not integrated into the procedural aspect of the roadmap but is in the choice of the norm leaders leading the emergence phase and hopefully in their position to support the national leader. Indeed, adaptable leaders with a higher level of consciousness bring forth three aspects in support of insight for as Einstein shared, ”no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” 

The first aspect is the intellectual abilities, skill-sets, and experience brought forth by the norm leader. It also includes the aspect of credibility. Intellect basically entails the whole acceptable set of tools that a leader brings in the planning and development of any mission. The second aspect is awareness and the ability to be connected with one’s environment through environmental scans, reports on action, and delegated actions and requests in order to stay in touch. PMI suggests that the project leader should invest concurrently in nine aspects[1] of a project to stay on top of the project environment and demands. The third aspect is one not often mentioned in the management of projects or programs: intuition. Intuition here is defined as the ability for a norm leader to extrapolate from inner knowledge and adjust to potential outcomes trusting that the best outcome will appear. Intuition is also expressed as the ability to hold opposite ideas for the emergence of an acceptable solution. It can also be described as the ability to feel not only the physical environment but also the emotional environment created by members of the partnership. Lastly, some authors have also defined intuition as the ability to connect with the “web of life” possibilities in order to create more opportunities for synchronicity.

Therefore, if trust and insight were combined, the adaptable leader could gather the knowingness of when to delegate, when to trust the other to co-lead, and when to be at the front. 

6. Flexibility

What is the best ratio of rigidity (to achieve the shared intent) and flexibility (to morph the campaign) and the rules of engagement (to adapt to the chaotic demands of the global environment)? An answer could only be true in a particular moment of the implementation. The roadmap can only address this ratio thanks to the selection of the best tools for success. The first is the quality choice of the norm leaders to propel the emergence. That leader should be an emotional leader in his or her capability to read the environment of the others prior to engaging in action. Lastly, this adaptable and emotional leader should have the ability to be authentic and coherent and act in such a manner when in connection with others. 

Normative change first happens at the relational level and that's where the quality of the leader counts. Then, the procedural elements of the campaign and the rules of engagement must have enough degrees of flexibility to allow for adaptation to meet internal and outside pressures. However, these aspects should not be too worrisome since projects or program management under the premises of the PMI and military campaign all know that “all hell breaks loose at the start line.” For the plan to meet reality, it will face a series of factors that require adaptation and most experienced project managers and leaders have the ability to tackle them. For a normative change, that leader needs additional interpersonal skill sets.

7. Protection Against the Abuse of Power

There are three major components for protection against the abuse of power. The first factor is the level of awareness of the norm leaders. Awareness means being aware of the elements in the working environment but also having the capacity to extend that awareness to the partners in order to understand the source and the impacts of the structural violence embedded into the existing national decision-making systems.The second is the ability to expose the abuse of power for both overt and covert actions and behaviours in a manner that will raise the right level of emotion from citizens and CSOs. If the abuse is widely spread and very well structured, exposure could act as a damper on people's level of engagement. Therefore, the level of acknowledgement has to consider the need to always frame the exposure in a mix of emotions both negative (indignation) and positive (meaningful engagement and belief that the fulfillment of the outcome is possible). Additionally, there is the possibility to reach out to various means of media exposure via radio shows, standard online newspapers, blogs, and social networks. Lastly, the third component is the capacity to recognize when CSOs, national government or corporations are taking a stand against the abuse of power so that they can be recognized and congratulated to encourage continuous support from them, and potentially encourage others to do the same. 

Another question to consider is “where is the abuse coming from?” This question has in part been answered in the context of “invisible hands” in the description of the roadmap.

8. Accountability

There are four major elements to support a sound accountability. As quickly defined in the operationalization phase of the normative lifecycle, the first one is the ability for a designated CSO to monitor the actions of all parties involved in the decision-making. The second is the ability to do reporting on a wide a range of subjects with an extensive distribution to ensure that information is easily accessible by all nations. For example, reporting on a nation blocking the evolution of a discussion or creating barriers would act sounding a bell of awareness to their citizens and members of this country’s alliances to potentially influence more cooperation. Another example could include the divulgation of extortions by other nations. The third element is the capacity for advocacy or the ability for CSOs to continue their participation in the process by either being present during the dialogue as observer or participant (their preferred choice) or, at minimum, by providing a process for their issue to be included on the agenda for discussion as implemented now with the EU on the submission of a million signatures. Lastly, the fourth element is the ability of continuous improvement, not only in the procedural but also relational aspects of the long-term decision-making process. This sustainable process would allow for performance review of leaders, organizational facilitators, and overall progress on the evolution of proposed new norms by peers and potentially third-party monitors. Without the capacity to evolve, the complex problems will continue to stagnate on the agenda of global affairs.

[1] The nine aspects of the PMI process include the management of the project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, risk, quality, procurement, HR, and communications.


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