One of the most important considerations in building a charter city is location. Building a charter city in the wrong location will inevitably lead to failure, while getting the location right can obscure substandard performance on other important questions facing a charter city. There are three key attributes of location, 1) legal autonomy, 2) potential population, 3) trade patterns.
Wade Shepard, a journalist who writes on new cities has an article in Forbes which describes some of the challenges in categorizing new city projects.
When emerging markets step onto the global stage they are often clad in new cities. From China to India to the Middle East to North and Subsaharan Africa, markets are rebranding themselves as modern, international and investment-worthy by...Read More
Last week I attended the World Free Zone Organization’s annual conference in Dubai. One of my goals with the Center for Innovative Governance Research is, first to map, then bring together the groups which are a natural constituency for charter cities and other types of free zones. As such, what follows is a mapping of what I believe the important aspects of the World Free Zone Organization...Read More
The development community is shifting their focus to fragile states. The World Bank doubled their fund for fragile states. Concurrently, a commission led by David Cameron published a report, “Escaping the Fragility Trap”.
The idea of fragile states is closely linked to the literature on state capacity, which has become a hot topic in economic history over the last decade. State capacity is...Read More
Hambantota is a port in Southern Sri Lanka of which control was ceded to China in a 99 year lease. The port was built as part of China’s One Belt One Road policy and was financed with $1.5 billion in loans from state run Chinese firms. China Merchants Port Holdings Company is paying $1.1 billion for a 70% stake in the port.
The deal illuminates some of the complex issues facing zones. First,...Read More
The New York Times has a very interesting article on ISIS and how they created a bureaucracy to administer their territory and collect taxes. They recovered 15,000 pages of internal documents revealing how, in addition to brutal beheadings, ISIS paved potholes and ran a DMV.
ISIS built a state of administrative efficiency that collected taxes and picked up the garbage. It ran a marriage office...Read More