Network Sovereignties, Network States and Coordi-Nations

First posted on November 28, 2023

This post is adapted from this recent Gitcoin grant proposal to fund the network sovereignties research project.

Research on Network Sovereignties, Network States and Coordi-Nations


The rise of digital networks and blockchain technologies has catalyzed the formation of voluntary, network-based political communities, aspiring to sovereignty beyond traditional territorial confines (see Network States, Coordi-Nations). These new political communities, or “network sovereignties” are poised to redefine the global political landscape.

More on this research project:

In a rapidly changing social, economic and geo-political context, where technology revolutionizes societal structures and existential risks demand enhanced global cooperation, understanding the [r]evolution of political sovereignty becomes crucial. The traditional state-centric model of sovereignty is witnessing the emergence of more fluid, participatory, network-based governance models bolstered by digital innovation. Understanding of these new political communities is crucial for those who hope to navigate and shape this new political and economic era.

Our project is centered on building a comprehensive body of research around emergent forms of network sovereignties, exploring how these digitally-networked political entities challenge the conventional geo-political map, offering new pathways for law, governance, and global cooperation.

Key research questions:

How are digital technologies, and blockchain technologies in particular, catalyzing the emergence of non-territorial sovereignties?

What potential do these new sovereignties hold to redefine global cooperation, and what risks do they pose?

What are the legal, ethical, and political challenges raised and faced by these network sovereignties?

At the geopolitical level, how can network sovereignties interact with traditional nation-states and international organizations?

What roles could they play in international relations, and what are the implications for global governance and diplomacy?

How to ensure legal recognition, enforceability of rules, and relationships with traditional legal jurisdictions?

Targeted outputs and impact:

Our work will provide a comprehensive analysis of network sovereignties. Anticipated outputs include:

A “Coordinations Cookbook”: An accessible guide outlining various models of network sovereignties beyond Network States, supplemented with templates, blog posts, and forums for community engagement.

Engaging public talks, webinars and workshops, bringing together academics, technology experts, and policymakers for enriched dialogue.

A series of scholarly papers analyzing the structure, challenges, and opportunities of network sovereignties.

Who we are:

We are an extitutional group of postdoctoral, doctoral researchers, and practitioners working on these topics, helped and supported by external collaborators across the globe.

Amongst us: Primavera de Filippi (Harvard Berkman Klein Center, CERSA/CNRS), Jessy-Kate Schingler (Harvard Berkman Klein Center), Lou de Kerhuelvez (Foresight Institute, CERSA), Sofia Cossar (CERSA), Silke Noa (CERSA), Morshed Mannan (EUI), Joshua Davila (The Blockchain Socialist), Holke Brammer (Hypercerts), Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation), Sara Horowitz (Freelancers Union), Ori shimony (dOrg, Mechanism Institute).

To learn more, visit the network sovereignties linktree. Get in touch if you’d like to collaborate or support <3.