Reshaping Welfare in the Digital Age: Algorithmic Challenges in the Platform Work Landscape

Event date
9 May 2024
Event time
12:30 - 13:45
Oxford week
TT 3
Members of the University
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights - Gilly Leventis Meeting Room

Alberto Barrio, Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Notes & Changes

This presentation explores the transformative impact of digital platform work on traditional welfare state models, as conceptualized by Gøsta Esping-Andersen. The rise of platform work, characterized by on-demand, task-based activities mediated through digital platforms, presents unique challenges to the established welfare frameworks of liberal, conservative, and social democratic regimes. Drawing on insights from the WorkWel project and recent research on social security adaptations for platform work, this analysis delves into how algorithm-driven employment practices disrupt conventional social security systems and labour laws, necessitating a re-evaluation of welfare and social insurance provisions. 


The presentation will propose a framework for integrating platform work into existing welfare state models, suggesting policy adaptations that enhance transparency and inclusivity. It will also discuss the role of the European Union in harmonizing regulations to protect platform workers, ensuring that the digital transformation supports rather than undermines social welfare objectives. Additionally, the presentation seeks to obtain input on how the research presented may connect with broader discussions concerning research on algorithmic management, particularly in terms of how algorithms influence worker autonomy, surveillance, and the overall dynamics of labour control. This discussion is crucial for policymakers, platform operators, and social security scholars aiming to reshape welfare systems to be more responsive to the realities of the digital age.


The session will be held hybrid. For those attending in person, lunch will be available from 12:15. 

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