Citizenship and Technology Painting
Wessel Reijers

Global Citizenship and Technology


The Global Citizenship Governance (GCG) Research Group explores how emerging technologies can remodel the meaning and essence of citizenship (in all four dimensions—rights, duties, identity, status), brings about new forms of governance, and redefines sovereignty and the structure of international law.

The first phase of the research is empirical: exploring the possible functions of Blockchain (and other) new technologies; potential implementation on the national, regional (EU), and global level; and implications for current theories and practices of citizenship. It researches the possible reconstruction of a new concept—“cloud membership” —and its nexus to various forms of “global citizenship.”

The second phase of the research is normative: establishing the theoretical foundations, normative justifications, conceptual principles, institutional functions, and legal implications of a concept of “global citizenship” and future evolution of Blockchain Global Governance. It distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate functions of “cloud communities” and discusses their possible integration in the existing frameworks of international law.

The third stage of the research is policy-oriented: offering a practical scheme and addressing barriers relating to two central issues: How to model a governance on the blockchain, and how to govern the blockchain. For example, what conceptions of sovereignty and citizenship will emerge? And would it promote justice and equality?

Duration: 2017 - 2022

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This project is based at the EUI.

Recent Publications

Bauböck, Rainer/Orgad, Liav (Eds.) (2018):
Cloud Communities: The Dawn of Global Citizenship?

Reijers, Wessel/Orgad, Liav/De Filippi, Primavera et. al. (2018):
Now the Code Runs Itself: On-Chain and Off-Chain Governance of Blockchain Technologies.

Book Talk on Blockchain and the Law with author Primavera de Filippi (CNRS/Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University)

Keynote speech by Lawrence Lessig (Harvard Law School) introducing the first workshop on 'Emerging Technologies and the Future of Citizenship'

ERC Acknowledgement

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme  (grant agreement No 716350)