Special zones of parallel political experimentation

Special zones are laboratories for experimentation with new policies that, if successful, can be introduced to other parts of the polity. Generally this has meant experimentation in more ‘free market’ policies with the aim of creating an economic environment attractive for investment and enterprise. In this way special zones have been used for gradualist reform and have been focused on development of economic institutions ahead of political institutions. In this post, I’d like to explore a new kind of special zone: the special political zone. The SPZ is a space in which the form of governance is both modern and democratic, but also undercut through non-territorial formations of citizens in overlapping political units. It is a laboratory for experiments in non-territorial polycentric democracy. Continue reading