Durham, UK

Paper analysing the ways that cryptographic techniques are mobilised for contesting projects of sovereignty, shaping contemporary digital geographies.

Contested Cryptographic Geographies (draft)


From hash functions and keys to zero knowledge proofs, cryptography is a core set of tooling for shaping terms of access, rights and truth in digital geographies today. The paper maps these techniques to three contesting agendas of “digital sovereignty”, from the territorial agendas of nations, to the networked agendas of libertarian crypto ideologies and the technological sovereignty articulated by indigenous movements grounded in relational practices. The paper draws attention to cryptographic techniques as an area of study for the novel affordances of emerging techniques such as zero-knowledge proofs, but also for their ideological affordances in shaping notions of truth and consensus through mathematical proofs.

Draft in review at Progress in Human Geography.


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