Association pour l’anthropologie du changement social et du développement
Association for the anthropology of social change and development

Platform Workers in the Global South: the role of state and workers’ organizations

Auteur(s) : Chan Chris King-Chi ; Florence Eric ; Florence Jack Linchuan ;

English summary

In this panel, focusing on the role of the state and workers’ organizations in negotiating the balance between capital and labor, we want to question the role of state-led regulations in shaping politico-institutional configurations enabling differential inclusion of labor into the platform economy? From apparent laisser-faire to turning digital labor into a national strategy such as in Niger or Malaysia, we ask how state policies shape processes of differential inclusion along lines of race, class and gender and what forms of collective and individual agency have emerged from these configurations.


English argumentary

In the Global South, flexibility, increased competition among workers, and digital organization and control of labor in the platform economy (Srnicek 2016) have added to widespread informality and precariousness. Platform capitalism is reconfiguring “labor and life” (Mezzadra et al. 2021) through shaping new processes of accumulation and valorization of labor. For many workers, this has meant on the one hand opportunities in terms of accessing low-entry barrier jobs, and improving their very means of life, and, on the other hand, degraded working conditions, limited social mobility, and great risks for their lives (Anwar and Graham 2022).

In this panel, focusing on the role of the state and workers’ organizations in negotiating the balance between capital and labor, we invite contributions revolving on the following  questions:

  • What role do state-led regulations play in shaping politico-institutional configurations enabling differential inclusion of labor into the platform economy?
  • From apparent laisser-faire to turning digital labor into a national strategy such as in Niger or Malaysia, how do state policies shape processes of differential inclusion along lines of race, class and gender? What forms of collective and individual agency have emerged from these configurations?
  • What are the roles of trade unions or other grassroots organizations in organizing workers? What are their achievement and limitations in the workplace and beyond?
  • How may platform cooperativism offer a viable alternative to workers being trapped between the seduction of low-entry barriers and quick gains on the one hand and predatory extraction and dangers to their lives on the other hand?

References:

Anwar, Mohammad Amir, and Mark Graham. 2022. The Digital Continent. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mezzadra, Sandro and Breitt Neilson. 2013. Border as Method, or the Multiplication of Labor, Durham: Duke University Press.

Srnicek, Nick. 2016. Platform Capitalism. Bristol: Polity.


Communications du panel

Ce panel ne contient pas (encore) de communications

Proposer une communication dans ce panel / Submit a proposal in this panel

Contacter les responsables du panel par email / Contact the panel conveyor by email


Voir tous les panels du colloque Au prisme du travail : capitalisme, développement et changement social dans le Sud global