Towards a political economy of platform-mediated work

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Platform-mediated work, characterized as digital intermediation between workers and buyers of labour service, most famously exemplified by Uber, reveals how the transformation of the forces of production is reshaping relations of production. Using a political economy approach, this article takes us behind market exchanges between workers, platform operators, and clients to examine who extracts surplus value from workers, and how. It identifies two distinct models based on whether labour is performed locally on the ground or through the cloud.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-207
Number of pages23
JournalStudies in Political Economy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Gig economy
  • platform capitalism
  • platform-mediated work
  • political economy
  • precarious employment


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