The Case for Innovative Governance
As former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown once famously quipped, “In establishing rule of law, the first five centuries are the hardest.” His dictum applies to more than just rule of law. Governance, the process of creating and applying rules and norms, including rule of law, to a social organization, is at least as difficult to establish as the rule of law and also the most important determinant of human flourishing.
Discussion about governance typically takes for granted the jurisdiction within which governance occurs. But this is a strong and potentially paralyzing assumption. It is time to rethink governance reforms. They should be considered not only for the set of reforms, but also for the territories they apply to.
In this paper, I introduce the idea of innovative governance, encompassing numerous forms of political decentralization including charter cities, special economic zones, seasteading, and more.