The political imaginaries of blockchain projects: discerning the expressions of an emerging ecosystem

Syed Omer Husain*, Alex Franklin, Dirk Roep

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a wealth of information, hype around, and research into blockchain’s ‘disruptive’ and ‘transformative’ potential concerning every industry. However, there is an absence of scholarly attention given to identifying and analyzing the political premises and consequences of blockchain projects. Through digital ethnography and participatory action research, this article shows how blockchain experiments personify ‘prefigurative politics’ by design: they embody the politics and power structures which they want to enable in society. By showing how these prefigurative embodiments are informed and determined by the underlying political imaginaries, the article proposes a basic typology of blockchain projects. Furthermore, it outlines a frame to question, cluster, and analyze the expressions of political imaginaries intrinsic to the design and operationalization of blockchain projects on three analytic levels: users, intermediaries, and institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-394
JournalSustainability Science
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Decentralization
  • Political imaginaries
  • Prefigurative politics
  • Technopolitics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The political imaginaries of blockchain projects: discerning the expressions of an emerging ecosystem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects

    SUSPLACE: SUSPLACE

    1/10/1530/09/19

    Project: EU research project

    Cite this