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1 Crowdsourcing Sustainable Development Goals from Global Civil Society: A Content Analysis Josh Gellers University of North Florida For the past several decades, members of global civil society have begun to play an increasing role in global environmental governance. Expanding participation in global decision making processes to include actors beyond the nation-state is viewed as a corrective for the democratic deficit that some argue continues to undermine the legitimacy of international institutions. Yet, important questions remain regarding how civil society should be incorporated into global policymaking. One recently implemented approach involves crowdsourcing comments through web-based platforms like e-discussions and social media. However, the viability of this approach and its implications for global governance have not been adequately assessed. In this paper, I evaluate the potential efficacy of crowdsourcing as a means of increasing participation in global environmental governance through an analysis of data from the global MY World survey and a content analysis of UN-initiated e-discussions surrounding the inclusion of environmental sustainability in the post-2015 development agenda. I find that there exists a perceptible demographic imbalance among contributors to the MY World survey and considerable dissonance between the characteristics of participants in the e-discussions and those whose voices were included in the resulting summary report. This suggests that although crowdsourcing may be an attractive tool for widening participation in global governance, ultimately the democratic quality of that participation depends on the manner in which contributions are filtered by international institutions. Introduction The democratic legitimacy of global governance has traditionally rested on its capacity to resolve problems and provide benefits for states and societies. 1 However, while some problems have been successfully addressed and benefits conferred upon concerned parties, international institutions and other instruments of global governance have come under fire for, inter alia, their shortcomings in the area of democratic accountability. 2 In many corners of the world, the disconnect between international or supranational decision making bodies charged with formulating and implementing global policy and individuals affected by their decisions remains vast. While for centuries states operated as the main arbiters of governance in the international system, the emergence of contemporary global problems and transnational actors suggests that there need to exist governing structures capable of tackling issues which traverse national boundaries and a method of achieving accountability which takes into account the geographic 1 Bexell, Tallberg, and Uhlin 2010, 81.

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