1st Edition

Platform Labour and Global Logistics A Research Companion

Edited By Immanuel Ness Copyright 2023
    314 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    314 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Over the past 50 years the global labour market is transforming from reliable employment to low-wage and unstable informal and precarious jobs. This ineluctable shift is a consequence of the concentrated application of neoliberalism since the 1980s, as capitalism is converting standardised labour markets in the developed Global North into contingent and informal labour.

    Platform Labour and Global Logistics: A Research Companion examines the most important developments and features of global logistics and the emergence of the platform economy through historical comparative chapters and case studies. Part I surveys the logistics revolution and its impact on labour in key sectors of the global economy and probes the viability of the platform as a generator of economic and financial growth and innovation. The chapters of Part 1 offer a fulsome analysis and critique of the economic and technical reconfiguration brought on by neoliberal capitalism and the diffusion of the platform and logistics as a feasible model into the future. Part II examines labour restructuring from standardized to informal work through the platform and information technology, and the political and environmental challenges to labour. Part III provides global case studies on the informal economy through case studies of crucial economies where the platform has become dominant, and Part IV examines how the platform has contributed to geographic mobility and labour migration, and the consequences on workers.

    Platform Labour and Global Logistics: A Research Companion presents a unique contribution to the political economy literature through highlighting the significance of the impact of the platform and logistics on the working class and potential challenges from labour across the world. This book is intended for academics, researchers and students studying technological innovation, global supply chains, labour restructuring, and worker resistance.

    List of Contributors


    Immanuel Ness

    Part I. Global Logistics and Platform Labour

    1. The E-Logistics Revolution: Amazon, Labour, and the Future of Logistics Work
    2. Jake Alimahomed-Wilson

    3. Lords of the Platform: Rentier Capitalism and the Platform Economy
    4. Jathan Sadowski

    5. Digitalization, Automation and the Future of Globalization
    6. Samuel T. King

    7. Global Supply Chains in the Gig Economy
    8. Dieter Bögenhold & Farah Naz

      Part II. Labour Restructuring and Platform Work

    9. Thriving Small-scale Entrepreneurs or Precarious Own-account Workers? Concepts and Politics of Informal Work since the 1970s
    10. Sibylle Marti

    11. A Trade Between Flexibility and Security: Examining the Evolution of Non-Standard Work Arrangements and Ways to Rebalance the Position of Platform Workers in the Labour Exchange
    12. Aleksandra Webb

    13. Adjunct and Precarious Teaching Labour in Higher Education
    14. Eva-Maria Swidler

    15. New Forms of Agency or Atomization? Platform Workers’ Power Resources and Fragmentation
    16. Heiner Heiland (Technical University Darmstadt)


      Part III. Global Case Studies of Platform and Informal Labour

    17. Transportation Workers Mobilization against the Platform Economy: Korea
    18. Aelim Yun

    19. `Cheap, fast and flexible. Processes of informalization in Asian garment manufacturing
    20. Anna Salmivaara

    21. Digital Labour Platforms and the Uberization of Work in Portugal
    22. Isabel Roque

    23. Piece wages in US and Canadian Agriculture as Political Technologies of Labour Control: Implications for the Wider Platform Economy
    24. Emily Reid-Musson & Hannah Johnston

    25. Delivering (In)justice: Contestations within India’s digital food delivery platforms.
    26. Shyam Krishna

    27. India’s Platform Economy Experience: A Site for the Commodification-Decommodification Dynamic
    28. Premilla D’Cruz & Ernesto Noronha

    29. Entrepreneurship, Informality and the Platform Economy: the Resignification of precariousness in Brazil
    30. Jacob Carlos Lima

      Part IV. Migration, and Platform Work

    31. Contactless delivery: Migrant experiences in the platform economy
    32. Tyler Riordan, Richard Robinson, Gerhard Hofstaedter

    33. With this Ring, with this Striving:  Love, Marriage, and Labor in the Platform Economy in Southeast Asia
    34. Teresita C. del Rosario & Linda A. Lumayag

    35. Fragmented Labour, Punctuated Temporalities: Spatio-temporal Precarisation among Student Migrant Workers

    Oliva Maury 



    Immanuel Ness is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, NY, USA.