[Research seminar] Life in Blocks: How Blockchain Technology Narrates the World

25 March 2021
  • Starts at: 12:30h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: Online
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut

On 25 March, the Asser Institute is proud to welcome Dr Andrea Leiter, an Assistant Professor at the Amsterdam Center for International Law. During this research seminar, she will be presenting her paper: ‘Life in Blocks: How Blockchain Technology Narrates the World’.

The claim that blockchain will disrupt life as we know it has been voiced in almost every corner of the world leaving few topics untouched. But how can we engage with such a claim? How can we try to understand the kinds of changes that are being fostered by this technology? The idea for this chapter is to try and sketch out ways of reading blockchain technology as narrative technology. Rather than inquiring into the stories about blockchain technology, I focus on the narrative capacity of the technology itself; treating the technology as a mode for mediating how we interact in and understand our social, economic and institutional engagements. I conceptualize the architecture of the technology as a site of politics, where normativity is constituted through the demands of representation of the narrative form of the technology. Rather than providing a final judgment on the potential and threats of the technology, the contribution aims at developing a vocabulary that foregrounds the ordering capacity of blockchain technology and inquiries into the ways it mediates lives.

Asser research seminars

During the Asser Research Seminars, external researchers are invited to present their current and upcoming research with the Asser research community. The seminars are semi-open, as we invite a few external people who may be interested in the specific topic of the seminar. However, we aim to keep the group’s size limited, to stimulate interaction and high quality, in-depth discussions. Researchers who are interested in presenting their research to the Asser research community are welcome to send an e-mail to Dr Christophe Paulussen (c.paulussen@asser.nl).