Seasteading: competitive governments on the ocean

Friedman, Patri and Taylor, Brad (2012) Seasteading: competitive governments on the ocean. Kyklos, 65 (2). pp. 218-235. ISSN 0023-5962


We argue that those advocating the reform of current political systems in order to promote jurisdictional competition are in a catch-22: jurisdictional competition has the potential to improve policy, but reforms to increase competition must be enacted by currently uncompetitive governments. If such governments could be relied upon to enact such reforms, they would likely not be necessary. Since existing governments are resistant to change, we argue that the only way to overcome the deep problem of reform is by focusing on the bare-metal layer of society – the technological environment in which governments are embedded. Developing the technology to create settlements in international waters, which we refer to as seasteading, changes the technological environment rather than attempting to push against the incentives of existing political systems. As such, it sidesteps the problem of reform and is more likely than more conventional approaches to significantly alter the policy equilibrium.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 03:57
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 05:29
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140213 Public Economics-Public Choice
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6435.2012.00535.x

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