Organizational beliefs about multistakeholderism in general and the specific institutional structures of individual multistakeholder groups have a significant impact on the democratic governance possibilities of a given multistakeholder organization.
The first part of the chapter identifies organizational beliefs commonly held by those active in multistakeholderism. The nine organizational beliefs involve the perception of the state of global affairs, the role of the new governance unit, the need for an inclusive structure, the connection between the sponsoring organization and its representative, the expectation that governance should be done by volunteers, that conflicts of interest can be internally managed, that decision-making is not autocratic, that the enterprise is robust, and that disclosure will be managed well.
The second part of the chapter looks at the structural characteristics of multistakeholder groups, alongside the governance consequences of particular institutional forms. This section provides introductory observations on four different organizational forms of self-standing multistakeholder projects; two forms of multistakeholder relationships involving the UN system; and one proposed structure involving the political management of zones of conflict. The self-standing multistakeholder models include a one-big-table model, a multi-chamber system that elects a governing body, a multi-chamber system that advises a governing body, and a system of weighted stakeholder voting. The UN system structure includes multistakeholder groups as an adjunct of an international secretariat, and a multistakeholder body meeting in parallel with multilateral governing bodies. These are not exclusive forms; some multistakeholder groups are a hybrid of different forms. All these organizational forms present different opportunities and challenges for democratic governance.