Biography

Gianluca Iazzolino is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. He's currently focusing on how AI and digital platforms are reshaping governance in areas of limited statehood in Africa for the ERC-funded project ConflictNET. His research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, socio-legal studies and digital geography, with a geographic focus on East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Somaliland in particular), where he has conducted extensive fieldwork over the past ten years. He uses ethnographic methods to explore the interplay of technology and power in the specific cases of hybrid governance, digital finance and digital platforms in the Global South. Besides working on the ConflictNET project, Gianluca is PI of the UKRI-funded Datafication and Digital Rights in East Africa, which explores how digital platforms are reshaping processes of inclusion and exclusion and instigating new forms of organisation and practices of contestation in East Africa. 

Gianluca completed his PhD in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh and was a Research Fellow at the LSE. He is a fellow of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, LSE, and of the Institute of Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), University of California Irvine. Previously, he has worked as a consultant for NGOs and aid organisations in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger, and as a freelance journalist in Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East, Russia and India.

 

Publications

Recent additions

  • G. Iazzolino, 'Going Karura’: colliding subjectivities and labour struggle in Nairobi’s gig economy' (2021) Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.
    DOI: 10.1177/0308518X211031916
    Based on an ethnography of Uber drivers in Nairobi, my article explores practices of contestation of the gig economy taking place both in the digital and physical space of the city. It argues that the labour struggle against the price policies and the control mechanisms of ride-hailing platforms such as Uber foregrounds the tension between a subjectification from above, in which the platforms construct the drivers as independent contractors and the shaping of subjectivities through the interaction of the drivers with the digital platforms and with one another. It also suggests that, through contestation, as the one catalysed by the call to ‘go Karura’, logging off from the app, the workers connect their struggle to a broader critique of processes of exploitation, dependency and subalternity involving the state and international capital. While contributing to the growing literature on the gig economy in low- and middle-income countries, my article brings the labour geography scholarship exploring how workers collectively shape economic spaces in conversation with the intellectual tradition of Italian Operaismo (workerism). In doing so, it highlights the nexus of labour subjectivity and collective agency as mutually constitutive.

Internet Publication (1)

Journal Article (8)

G. Iazzolino, 'Going Karura’: colliding subjectivities and labour struggle in Nairobi’s gig economy' (2021) Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.
DOI: 10.1177/0308518X211031916
Based on an ethnography of Uber drivers in Nairobi, my article explores practices of contestation of the gig economy taking place both in the digital and physical space of the city. It argues that the labour struggle against the price policies and the control mechanisms of ride-hailing platforms such as Uber foregrounds the tension between a subjectification from above, in which the platforms construct the drivers as independent contractors and the shaping of subjectivities through the interaction of the drivers with the digital platforms and with one another. It also suggests that, through contestation, as the one catalysed by the call to ‘go Karura’, logging off from the app, the workers connect their struggle to a broader critique of processes of exploitation, dependency and subalternity involving the state and international capital. While contributing to the growing literature on the gig economy in low- and middle-income countries, my article brings the labour geography scholarship exploring how workers collectively shape economic spaces in conversation with the intellectual tradition of Italian Operaismo (workerism). In doing so, it highlights the nexus of labour subjectivity and collective agency as mutually constitutive.
G. Iazzolino and N. Stremlau, 'New Media and Governance in Conflict' (2016) 10 Third World Quarterly 2242
DOI: https://doi-org.gate3.library.lse.ac.uk/10.1080/01436597.2017.1333415

Chapter (3)

G. Iazzolino and N. Stremlau, 'Gateways and Gatekeepers: Social Media and the (Re)Defining of Somali Identity in Kenya’s Security Operations' in Moyo D. and Mpofu, S. (eds), Mediating Xenophobia in Africa. Unpacking Discourses of Migration, Belonging and Othering (Palgrave Macmillan 2020)
G. Iazzolino, 'Beyond Eastleigh. A New Little Mogadishu in Uganda? ' in Carrier, N. and T. Scharrer (eds), Mobile Urbanity. Somali Presence in Urban East Africa (Berghan Books: Oxford 2019)
G. Iazzolino and N. Stremlau, 'Hybrid governance, strategic communication and the quest for institutional Legitimacy' in Voltmer, K., Christensen, C., Neverla, I., Stremlau, N., Thomass, B., Vladisavljevic, N., Wasserman, H. (ed), Media, Communication and the Struggle for Democratic Change. Case Studies on Contested Transitions (Palgrave Macmillan 2019)

Report (1)

Book (1)

Centres

Research programmes

Research projects

Research Interests

Digital technologies, informality, governance, Future of Work, labour.

Research projects