Special Issue on “Blockchain and the Public Sector” in Information Polity (Call for Papers)


“Blockchain and the Public Sector: Expected Impacts, Benefits, Challenges, Policies, and Regulatory Issues”


Prof. Hans Jochen Scholl is a full professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. He has published numerous academic articles and other contributions in the wider areas of Digital Government, Disaster Management, and Information Artifact Evaluation. He has served as track chair for the Digital Government track at HICSS; he also is a co-organizer of the EGOV-CeDEM-ePart conference and a Past Chair of the IFIP WG 8.5. He also served as president of the Digital Government Society. His recent publications have focused on topics of smart governance and regulations, and other related topics.

Prof. Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar is a full professor at the University of Granada. He has published numerous academic articles and other contributions in the wider areas of Accounting and Digital Government. He serves as track chair and minitrack chair at several high-ranked academic conferences around the world. He also is the editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age (IJPADA), which is one of the core journals in the domain of Digital Government. His recent publications have focused on smart cities, smart and networked governance, and other related topics.

Blockchain has received significant attention in the area of financial technology (FinTech). As disruptive innovation of the Internet era it combines several computer technologies, including distributed data storage, point-to-point transmission, consensus mechanisms, and encryption algorithms (Zhang, 2016). Initially, blockchain technology has been used to record historical transactions of encrypted digital money such as Bitcoin (Nakamoto, 2008). However, due to its key characteristic of immutability, i.e., an append-only record system, blockchain technology has further developed beyond virtual currencies combining existing technologies for recording a range of different types of business transactions.
Blockchain is transforming industries by enabling innovative business practices in areas such as remittance, payment, banking, financing, trading, manufacturing, supply chain management, legal service, among others. Recently, public administrations have been introducing blockchain technologies to areas, in which actors must reliably record decentralized transactions, in particular, in environments where not all parties, whether humans or machines, can be fully trusted. Blockchain technology has been portrayed as a universal, evolving, open and transparent, robust infrastructure that cannot be easily corrupted (Ølnes & Jansen, 2018).
Given the trustworthiness and security, the use of blockchain can help increase citizens’ trust in government information. It might enable the coordination of transactions and information exchanges within the emerging “Internet of Things”, or, it also might have uses in digital identification and voting systems (Pilkington, 2016). However, while many potential benefits in Digital Government have been identified, it is important that researchers begin discussing challenges, benefits, regulations, frameworks, taxonomies, and applications of blockchain technologies in the public domain.
This Special Issue seeks high-quality contributions in theoretical, empirical, experimental, and application-oriented research on blockchain and Digital Government. For example, we invite submissions presenting cases and applications of blockchain addressing smart cities’ challenges; and/or presenting information frameworks or taxonomies for government transparency and accountability; and/or describing the role of blockchain architectures and applications to comply with societal needs and public values; and/or describing experiences in designing, implementing and using blockchain and smart contract applications to solve real world problems.

Other topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Blockchain technologies as support infrastructure in Digital Government services.
• Blockchain in reorganizing and replacing public registries.
• Blockchain in public procurement.
• Applications of blockchain and smart contracts.
• Transaction process changes via blockchain.
• New taxonomies of blockchain technologies in Digital Government.
• New models for digital currencies that exploit blockchain and smart contracts.
• Socio-economic implications of blockchain technology.
• Accountability, information disclosure and integrity issues using blockchain technologies in the public sector.
• Changes in information governance models using blockchain technologies.
• Trust models and trust in public sector management.
• Regulation and law enforcement in blockchain technologies.
• Blockchain and network big data (for example, big data analytics).
• Blockchain and the Internet of Things.
• Encryption and other technologies in blockchain.
• Data consistency in blockchain.
• Information privacy versus “right-to-know” in blockchain.
• Blockchain in next generation mobile communication networks.
• Blockchain and smart cities.
• Technical and other vulnerabilities of blockchain architectures

Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. Accessed 22 August 2018.
Ølnes, S., & Jansen, A. (2018, May). Blockchain technology as infrastructure in public sector: an analytical framework. In Proceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Governance in the Data Age (p. 77). ACM.
Pilkington, M. (2016). Blockchain technology: principles and applications. In: Xavier Olleros F, Majlinda Z (eds) Research Handbook on Digital Transformations. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U.K.
Zhang, E. (2016). Antshares Whitepaper1.0.. https://github.com/AntShares/AntShares/wiki/Whitepaper-1.0. Accessed 2 Feb 2018.


January 15, 2019 Deadline for paper abstracts submission

February 15, 2019 Feedback on submitted abstracts from editors

March 31, 2019 Deadline for full article submission

May 15, 2019 Acceptance/rejection decisions communicated to authors

June 15, 2019 Revised manuscripts of accepted submissions due

June 30, 2019 Finalized manuscripts and editorial handed over to editor-in-chief and publisher

Planned publication date: Information Polity Fall 2019 (issue 4)


For further information about the special issue please contact the guest editors:
Hans J Scholl – jscholl@uw.edu and
Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar — manuelp@ugr.es


Information Polity is a tangible expression of the increasing awareness that Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) have become of deep significance for all polities as new technology-enabled forms of government, governing and democratic practice are sought or experienced throughout the world. This journal positions itself in these contexts, seeking to be at the forefront of thought leadership and debate about emerging issues, impact, and implications of government and democracy in the information age.

The journal is dedicated to publishing work from two main sources: academic and practitioner. The journal publishes work from academics that is both of top quality and, equally, of high strategic relevance to practitioners. Secondly, the journal is intent on publishing work undertaken by practitioners – professional, administrative and political – who are actively engaged in the broad arenas of government and democracy, whether at local, regional, national or supra-national levels.

The journal promotes interdisciplinary work drawing from the wider social sciences (e.g. public policy, public management, public administration, political science, information systems, information science, media studies, philosophy, sociology, law, economics) and welcomes articles with an empirical, theoretical or conceptual contribution from scholars and practitioners throughout the world. The journal is both international and comparative in its perspectives and publishes articles on political, public policy, institutional, social, economic, legal, managerial, organizational, ethical, and wider social scientific themes and issues as they relate to the application of ICTs in government, governing and democratic practice.

Albert Meijer, Ph.D., Professor of Public Innovation, Utrecht University
William Webster, Ph.D. Professor of Public Policy and Management, University of Stirling

Paper abstracts should be submitted electronically as ‘Word’ files directly to the Guest Editors by 15 January 2019.
If accepted, authors are expected to submit their final manuscripts as ‘Word’ files by March 31, 2019 also directly to the guest editors.
An author’s guide for formatting and referencing for IOS Press publications can be found at: https://www.iospress.nl/journal/information-polity/
All contributions will be peer-reviewed and edited according to the journal’s published procedures.


Dr. Hans Jochen Scholl, MBA
Full Professor
University of Washington
The Information School
Mary Gates Hall, Suite 370D
MS 352840
Seattle, WA 98195-2840, USA
Skype: jochenscholl
Phone: +1(206) 616-2543
Fax: +1(206) 616-3152
Email: jscholl@uw.edu
Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/jscholl/

Dr. Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar
Full Professor of Accounting
Director of Economic Affairs
University of Granada
Department of Accounting and Finance
Faculty of Business Studies,
C/ Campus Universitario de Cartuja, s/n
18071 Granada (Spain)
Phone: +34-958242881
Fax: +34-958246249
Email: manuelp@ugr.es

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