Nick Cowen is a lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln. He has a PhD from King’s College London and an MPhil from the University of Oxford, he was a Fellow at the NYU School of Law from 2016 to 2019 and continue as a Program Affiliate Scholar. Nick has published his research, among other places, in the American Journal of Political Science, Critical Review and the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy. His research explores the contribution of commercial enterprise and other forms of proprietary governance for supplying public goods and to the stability of liberal democratic regimes.
Over the last two decades online services have transformed from a product of a multitude of enterprises to being dominated by a handful of corporate-owned platforms such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon. They specialize in connecting media producers to users. These are often mutual interactions with users both producing and consuming content. These platforms play an increasing role governing commercial exchange, as well as civil discussion, with plausibly pernicious implications for liberal democracy. Blockchains offer a promising solution to this danger by helping to displace corporate ownership in favor of common platforms sustained by users themselves. Initially conceived as offering alternatives to state-backed currencies, blockchains are now used to build decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and dapps (decentralized apps). They can supply similar functions as corporate platforms but without an overall owner.
14.00 - 16.00 Seminar takes place in Executive Suite 3 (light refreshments will be served)