A Review of Contemporary Governance Challenges in Oman: Can Blockchain Technology Be Part of Sustainable Solutions?

Leon Goldsmith, Abdul Khalique Shaikh*, Hacer Yildiz Tan, Kaamran Raahemifar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Oman is considering adopting the latest e-governance technology, including Blockchain-based. While much research was conducted into the benefits and risks of Blockchain-based in information systems and finance fields, fewer researchers investigated the opportunities and risks associated with adopting Blockchain-based frameworks for governance and public administration, especially in highly bureaucratic, centralized rentier states, such as Oman. As the first phase of an exploratory sequential mixed-methods study, our purpose was to identify key governance problems in contemporary Oman and analyze each problem against evidence drawn from the relevant parts of the Blockchain-based and e-governance literature to evaluate the potential utility, risks and limitations associated with adopting block-chained e-governance solutions in the Sultanate. Our initial results indicate that there are advantages for states, such as Oman, from being an early mover into block-chained e-governance systems, including greater cost efficiency, drastically improved accuracy and reliability of information systems, transparency and accountability of public services, and an upgrade in the overall level of legitimacy and public trust in the institutions of governance. However, more research into the risks related to reconciling block-chained systems with the dynamics of labor, tax reforms and centralized authority in a rentier social contract is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11819
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • blockchain technology
  • development
  • e-government
  • governance
  • Oman
  • rentier states
  • social contract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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