Book Chapter

Do digital technologies have politics? : imaginaries, practices and socio-political implications of civic blockchain


This chapter questions the purported technical neutrality and the aura of political impartiality surrounding digital technologies arguing that technical neutrality rarely, if ever, exists. Through a theoretical analysis of the blockchain, we argue that socially emancipatory and democratising applications of the blockchain require more than just identifying new users and contexts. For a people-driven, socially orientated civic blockchain to truly work, we need to be vigilant about how we design technological features as these embody contending socio-political visions of our collective futures. We conclude by proposing a research agenda for critically investigating how digital technologies (and blockchain in particular) affect socio-geographical space and ask who should be responsible for imbuing public values in digital technologies; and guaranteeing conditions of fairness, accessibility, democratic control, and accountability.

Attached files


Iapaolo, Fabio
Certomà, Chiara
Giaccaria, Paolo

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-05-09

"This is a draft chapter. The final version is available from Edward Elgar: The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only."

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Do digital technologies have politics? Imaginaries, practices and socio-political implications of civic blockchain
This RADAR resource is Part of A research agenda for digital geographies [ISBN: 9781802200591] / edited by Tess Osborne and Phil Jones (Edward Elgar, 2023).


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