An Investigation Into The Societal Use of Blockchain Based I-Voting in Democratic Government

Jeffrey Julian Wiering

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to answer my main research question: “What is the societal use of blockchain based I-voting in democratic government?” I answer this question by conducting an extensive research on the relationship between blockchain technology, institutional theory and organisational theory literature. Even though there has been a great influx in academic research on blockchain over the past years, a comprehensive analysis on the subject has been lacking to date. According to this thesis, there is a lack of knowledge in the existing academic literature to answer its main research question fully. Taking inspiration from the literary works of Stake (1995) and Merriam (1998), I have carried out a case study on the Australian political organisation Flux. Data from the case study is collected with the use of semi-structured interviews and has been analysed from an institutional work perspective. In order to gather valid, usable and unbiased data from our case study, I used the subquestions: (1) “Why is Flux changing democratic government? ” and (2) “How is Flux changing democratic government?” We will not dive into the topic of how the implementations of blockchain technology changes power relations in society, to keep the scope of research as focussed as the topic allows. The conclusion of this study is that the societal use of blockchain based I-voting in democratic government, is to provide a foundation for democratic governance to update and improve itself at its core of its organisation. By reducing the operational costs of running a government, increasing levels of societal trust in government by offering higher levels of transparency, and creating a platform on which more organisational improvements for democratic government can be built. Therefore, blockchain based I-voting is likely to have a positive effect on the relationship between society and its government.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages94
SupervisorsIda Lunde Jørgensen