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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Jaya Klara Brekke

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Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of Geography
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801

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Current Research

In my position as ESRC Research Fellow at Durham University Geography department I am developing findings from my PhD thesis into articles for publication and broadcast. My thesis comprised a political analysis of ‘blockchain’ – a technological intervention into questions of political economy, finance and data governance through decentralised technologies.

The topics I am developing further include the ‘hacker-engineer’ as a new protagonist in political economy, with distinct sensibilities, motivations and approaches to 'the economic', tracing the genealogy of ‘cryptoeconomics’ through historical experiences of network decentralisation. The aim is to retrace the 'disruptive' proposition of blockchain and decentralised networks that is not limited to commercial competition with incumbent financial and economic actors, but rather point towards specific critiques and new modes of thinking the relationships between value, networks and power. I also work on the concept of trust in computation, with the aim of clarifying the specific ways that trust is operationalised in computer networks and socio-political implications of this. Finally, I am developing the ‘onto-epistemological’ framework of my thesis further in order to introduce the concept of the ‘dissensible’ as a way to articulate the potential of the political for algorithmic and more-than-human geographies. For this, I draw on work by theoretical physicist and feminist science scholar Karen Barad on how quantum observational devices not only measure a phenomenon but is also an ‘intra-active’ part of determining it’s properties, making it ‘sensible’ and knowable in particular ways. I combine this with political theorist Jacques Rancière’s concept of ‘dissensus’ where ‘the political’ is defined as a disruption to, and redistribution of the sensible – understood in terms of what is a common sense arrangement of who is considered to act and speak in different spaces. It is my intention to extend this conceptual work to the more-than-human and techno-financial questions in my next area of research, 'The Nature 2.0 Project', looking at the development and deployment of techno-financial devices in response to the climate crisis.

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of technology
  • Cryptography
  • Cryptographic geographies
  • More-than-human geographies
  • (inter)mediation
  • Sensibility
  • Political economy
  • Power
  • FinTech


Authored book

  • Brekke, Jaya Klara, Bridle, James, Vickers, Ben & Nakamoto, Satoshi (2019). The White Paper. Ignota Press.

Chapter in book

  • Brekke, J. K. (Accepted). Disassembling the Truth Machine. In /META. Tracing unknown kno//wns/. de Vega, M. Mazon Gardoqui, V. & Silvestrin, D. ñ (Mexico City & Berlin).
  • Brekke, J. K. (2018). Postcards from the world of decentralised money: a story in three parts. In MoneyLab Reader#2: Overcoming the hype. Gloerich, I., Lovink, G. & de Vries, P. Institute of Network Cultures.
  • Brekke, J. K. & Haase, E. (2017). Busting blocks and breaking chains. In Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain. Catlow, R., Garrett, M., Jones, N. & Skinner, S. Liverpool University Press.

Doctoral Thesis

Edited book

Other (Digital/Visual Media)