Cryptodemocratic Governance of Special Economic Zones

19 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2019

Date Written: November 22, 2019


An underappreciated challenge for special jurisdictions, both in their founding and their ongoing operation, are the mechanisms for making collective choices. Collective decisions must be made under uncertainty and between dynamic stakeholders. In this paper, we outline the potential applications of blockchain technology in special jurisdictions as new collective choice infrastructure. In a cryptodemocracy, voters are given property rights in their own votes that are recorded on decentralized blockchain ledgers, and those votes are contracted between voters and delegates (Allen et al. 2019). Compared to existing democratic structures, a cryptodemocratic structure has the potential to integrate more knowledge into collective decisions and be more responsive and accountable to the governed through stronger incentive alignment. These benefits may ameliorate some collective choice problems for special jurisdictions. In this paper, we introduce the collective choice problems underpinning special jurisdictions, outline the potential for cryptodemocractic systems to facilitate jurisdictional competition as new infrastructure for special jurisdictions, and propose a new interdisciplinary research program at the boundaries of institutional economics, political science, and innovation economics.

Keywords: Special Economic Zones, Blockchain Technology, Robust Political Economy, Cryptodemocracy

Suggested Citation

Allen, Darcy and Lane, Aaron M., Cryptodemocratic Governance of Special Economic Zones (November 22, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Darcy Allen (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

440 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne, 3000

Aaron M. Lane

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000

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