• Capacity building;
  • multistakeholderism;
  • Internet governance.


“Capacity building” is a catch phrase from the UN development discourse. In recent years, it has entered the global Internet governance (IG) arena. At World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS 2003), “capacity building” was identified as a key public policy issue. It is proposed in this study that ‘capacity building’ be defined in a different manner – as the principal outcome of the experimental multistakeholder (MSH) process in global IG. The open and inclusive process of stakeholder deliberation leads to accumulation of intellectual capital, development of relational infrastructure for the domain (epistemic community), and emergence of common global consciousness. When cast as a capacity-building process, MSH collaboration at global Internet governance arenas exhibits long-term and large-scale intangible outcomes. This study contributes to the understanding of the capacity-building potential of MSH collaboration in IG. By employing concepts from International Relations and Organizational Learning, the author develops a model of tangible and intangible outcomes of MSH collaboration. This unique model can be used for studying the effects in other stakeholder venues of governing global resources and processes.