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Questions and answers

This website and the essay may raise the following questions.

What is decision change?

Decision change is the design of a procedure to decide on system change. We coined the term 'decision change' and thought that it should have this particular meaning to contrast it with system change.

Who are these experts in decision-making?

Decision-making covers vast fields of theory and expertise: theories of deliberation, voting, international relations, and much more.*


* Table 1 in essay.

So, only decision-making experts design a procedure with which others decide on system change?

No. The experts are assisted and monitored by auxiliary bodies. Suggestions for these bodies are a verification group, overview board, and argumentation council.*   


*Appendix B, ’Safeguarding the design process’  

Would only experts design system change?

Probably not. Initially, experts in some subject area submit proposals for system change (see next question). At a later stage, more such proposals and arguments would have to be submitted; the newly designed decision-making procedure is likely to include additional proposals and arguments because these can only improve the system change designs. Notably, these subject-matter experts are not to be confused with experts in decision-making, who design the procedure to decide on these proposals -- except when governance is the subject matter.

Why collect system-change proposals before the decision-making body has been established?

First, collecting proposals for system change at an early stage provides a head start, that is, it avoids re-inventing the wheel and, if the decision-making body is composed of many people, it keeps discussions a short as possible. Second, proposals can readily be collected by actively approaching subject-matter experts instead of waiting for submissions from a public consultation, as the programme initially will not be widely known. Third, collecting proposals at an early stage will show decision-making experts and members of auxiliary bodies that there will be something to decide on.

Why would the decision-making body in some cases not need authority?

Mechanisms exist which do not require any authority because they are strategy-proof, that is, participants cannot profit from misreporting their private information.*

* Appendix B, ’System-change design’

Why would the UN be exclu-ded from the design of a decision-making procedure? *

* Appendix A, 'Adequacy of the programme'  

Representatives of UN member states are excluded from the design of a decision-making procedure, even though they have expertise in international relations, because they are not independent, that is, they would probably be inclined to promote a procedure that is most profitable for the nation they represent. This would lead back to the present model for the COPs: consensus, which in practice allows issuing a veto.* Decision-making experts from the UN staff might be included if their independency is beyond any doubt.

* Reference to Rietig et al.  

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