The International Political Economy of Digital Platforms

Project: Research

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This project convenes scholars from several disciplines to examine two issues about how platform companies accumulate and exercise power through data technology and financing. First, we will investigate the transnational expansion of platforms, meaning how platform companies explore and perceive overseas markets, and how they transcend sectoral and territorial boundaries to gain, exercise, and justify their operations and attempts at regulatory reform. We will trace the transborder mobility of platform capital. Second, focusing on European and South African cities, we will investigate how this expansion tests the state’s territorial sovereignty, as it confronts the ‘functional sovereignty’ that platforms claim. We will focus on how algorithmic management, as a form of infrastructural power, re-makes work relationships and creates new patterns of extraction in ways that undermine state ability to govern labour. Likewise, we will examine how workers interact with, challenge, and even re-make algorithmic settings in their everyday experience.


Project number7020070
Grant typeSIRG
Effective start/end date1/05/22 → …