Competitive Governance, also called regulatory competition or policy competition, is a phenomenon in law, economics and politics concerning the desire of lawmakers to compete with one another in order to attract businesses or other actors to operate in their jurisdiction.
What if governments would compete for you the same way businesses do? Competing governments would have to make their products and services faster, cheaper, better, and more effective, or their customer-citizens would pick another government doing a better job. What if a governance model could be a product on its own? What if we could have autonomous cities, each having a different governance model, including different laws and taxes? You could shop for a city that suits you best, the same way you pick a restaurant for dinner by walking through a food court or a busy street. Well, it is possible in our time.
It is an amazing reality that is available to us today in the countries with Special Economic Zones (SEZs). In 2020, there are about 4,300 SEZs operating in 75% of countries worldwide. According to the Journal of Special Jurisdictions (Call for papers from 2020-06-10) "In recent years, more Zones have focused on institutional, legal, and regulatory reforms. Today, the most bold version is the Honduran Zone for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs). The ZEDEs allow private companies to create SEZs with their own administrative, legal, regulatory, and taxation systems."
Special jurisdictions like ZEDEs offer a tool by which countries can test new laws, implement international best practices, and ensure competitiveness for the 21st century. Competition between special jurisdictions embodies the best aspects of market competition, ensuring that successful practices are rapidly adopted.
So, lets explore how government could be seen as a product where citizens pay for services, or how government could be seen as technology with rules or instructions for its citizens. You will learn about all of it and also about how much the system of rules we live under matter for long-term economic growth from the video below.
We can also say that it is much easier to hold the government accountable in a city that is owned by a private company. In a private city, the rights and obligations between each resident and "the operator" providing governmental services are sealed in a written agreement. This contract becomes an incentive for-profit private city to treat its customers right because any resident may sue its government operator if the contract is violated. Let's listen to a German entrepreneur with a PhD in international law, Dr. Titus Gebel, who talks about this and other opportunities the private city concept opens up to an average citizen in the next video.
Free Private Cities with Dr. Titus Gebel:
If you are a keen reader and want to learn more, check our book list below.
If you prefer to listen to this book, instead of reading, you can find it in this youtube playlist.
Here is the first chapter:
Moreover, most up-to-date information on this subject maybe found in