Seasteading: competitive governments on the ocean

Article


Friedman, Patri and Taylor, Brad. 2012. "Seasteading: competitive governments on the ocean." Kyklos. 65 (2), pp. 218-235. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2012.00535.x
Article Title

Seasteading: competitive governments on the ocean

ERA Journal ID18454
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsFriedman, Patri (Author) and Taylor, Brad (Author)
Journal TitleKyklos
Journal Citation65 (2), pp. 218-235
Number of Pages18
Year2012
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0023-5962
1467-6435
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2012.00535.x
Web Address (URL)http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2012.00535.x/abstract
Abstract

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.

ANZSRC Field of Research 2020380113. Public economics - public choice
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Byline AffiliationsSeasteading Institute, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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