1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the Gig Economy

Edited By Immanuel Ness Copyright 2023
    550 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    550 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Research on the growth of the precarious economy is of signifi cant interest as the economy increasingly becomes dependent on gig work. However, as platform and automated service work has grown, there remains a chasm in understanding the key aspects of digital labour.

    This handbook presents comprehensive theoretical, empirical, and historical accounts of the political economy of informal work from the late 20th century to the present.

    It examines the rich and varied analysis and critique of the informalisation of work, focusing on its most signifi cant theories, intellectual traditions, and authors. It highlights the political, social, cultural, and developmental impact of the deterioration of employment in the Global North and Global South, as well as the extreme threat posed to the planet by the growth of contingent work, poverty, and enduring and increasing inequalities produced and reproduced by the reformation of capitalism in the contemporary age of neoliberal capitalism. The period from the 1980s to the present is marked by the expanded extraction of surplus value from workers through the creation of non-standard jobs and the restructuring of work. A central component of the restructuring of work is the extension of gig employment through the development of algorithmic platforms which direct labourers to perform discrete tasks.

    This is a definitive collection, representing the primary reference work, contributing to our understanding of the subject.

    The book is written and presented in a clear manner, accessible to scholars and researchers of international political economy, labour economics, and sociology who are eager for new research examining this phenomenon, as well as specialists in the field of labour relations.

    Chapter 11 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. Funded by the University of Amsterdam.

    1. Introduction, Gig economy and globalization of capitalism PART I. Conceptual perspectives and approaches 2. Job instability, precarity, informality and inequality labour in the gig economy 3. Inclusion through the platform economy? The ‘diverse’ crowd as relative surplus populations and the pauperization of labour 4. Entrepreneurial finance capital and the gig economy 5. The algorithmic surveillance of gig workers: Mechanisms and consequences 6. The challenges of total talent management in the gig economy PART II. Globalization, women, and migration in gig economy 7. (Re)inventing the collective dimension in a ‘virtualised’ labour market 8. Beyond formality: informalization and tertiarisation of labour in the gig economy 9. Feminized Work After Fordism: The New Precarity 10. Trade unions, women’s labour and the gig economy 11. Liminal precarity and compromised agency: Migrant experiences of gig work in Amsterdam, Berlin and New York City 12. Platforms, labour, mobility: Migration and the gig economy PART III. Worker Protest and Labour Organizing 13. Worker solidarity among gig and precarious workers 14. Vulnerable food delivery platforms under pressure: protesting couriers seeking "algorithmic justice" 15. New Labour Formations, Precarious Workers and the Gig Economy: Lessons from British Indie Unions 16. Labour Movements and the Gig Economy: Collective Identity and Strategy 17. Consumers in the gig economy: Resisting or reinforcing precarious work? PART IV. Regional Dynamics, Global North EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA 18. Transformations of work in the era of the gig economy: towards a new paradigm of worker autonomy or exploitation? 19. Control >Delete: Prop 22 and Lessons for Gig Worker Organizing Against Algorithmic Management 20. Protecting gig economy workers in EU law: Challenges and recent initiatives 21. Falling through the cracks: Gig economy and platform work in Central and Eastern Europe 22. Germany and the Gig Economy: Ambivalences of platform work 23. Russian Federation, Labour and the gig economy 24. Australia, Labour and the gig economy PART V. Regional Dynamics, Global South ASIA, AFRICA, SOUTH AMERICA 25. India and South Asia, Labour and the gig economy 26. India, Techno-nationalism: The platform economy 27. China, Labour and the gig economy 28. Japan, Labour and the gig economy 29. Korea, Labour and the gig economy 30. Philippines, Digital economy, class formation and exploitation 31. Indonesia, Labour and the gig economy 32. South Africa, the rise of the gig economy and worker responses 33. Kenya, Transportation workers in the gig economy 34. Brazil, Gig economy and formation of new platform trade unions in South America


    Immanuel Ness is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, NY, USA and Visiting Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.