Thematic issue in Digital Capitalism

This looks brilliant. If only I could have seen it earlier!

Thematic issue in Digital Capitalism
 
Coordinators: Aitor Jiménez (University of Auckland) & César Rendueles (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) Vol 17 (2) June-December 2020
Teknokultura: Magazine of Digital Culture and Social Movements (Complutense University of Madrid) (https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/TEKN), indexed in Emerging Sources Citation Index, calls for the reception of manuscripts for a Thematic Number on Digital Capitalism, which will be published in the second half of 2020.
More than 20 years have passed since Daniel Schiller popularized the concept of Digital Capitalism. Since then, the digital economy has become one of the pillars of advanced economies. Few, beyond the followers of science fiction, could have predicted the current scenario. There are still no flying cars or cyborgs in the streets. But, as in Blade Runner, gigantic global corporations reign in cyberspace (and outside of it). Its hegemony extends from communications to clouding, through commerce, transport, hospitality or leisure. The great digital monopolies are present in the lives of the inhabitants both in the North and in the Global South.
Until 2018 (the year when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out) the large digital corporations enjoyed the benefit of the doubt from governments and authorities and the approval of the users. In a short period of time, digital monopolies forever transformed the real estate market in cities such as Madrid or Paris. The urban transport sector and the labour regime of hundreds of millions of workers, not to mention the use and management of private data. But after a series of scandals and judicial setbacks associated with the criminal practices of large corporations such as Google or Facebook, governments and international institutions have agreed to point out the dangers associated with this excessive corporate power or ‘digital dominance’. The ILO and the OECD have remarked how the global labour market is at the verge of a huge transition, which if not handled with caution can lead to the disappearance of hundreds of millions of jobs. The European Union has marked as one of its priorities to recover digital sovereignty for its member countries, as well as to shield, from the Silicon Valley’s monopolistic capitalist offensive. The United States Congress, concerned about the overwhelming power of tech companies, is inquiring the top tech corporations to understand ‘the degree to which these intermediaries enjoy market power, how they are using that market power, whether they are using their market power in ways that have harmed consumers and competition, and how Congress should respond.’
2020 will be a turning point in the formulation of digital capitalism. For some like Morozov, we are at the door of a digital neofeudalism with different domain spheres dependent of massive powers. Others, more optimistic, such as Lina Khan or Frank Pasquale, believe that digital capitalism can be controlled with the appropriate institutional and regulatory frameworks. Others, as Aaron Bastani or Trebor Scholz, highlight the emancipatory and even revolutionary potential of current digital tools and platforms. Can you imagine an Uber run and controlled by workers? What if we socialise Google?
2018, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, was the year of the loss of the innocence of digital platforms. 2019 the year of the great declarations of the corporations (among others those of Uber, Google or Facebook) and of the awareness of the political authorities. 2020 may be the year in which digital capitalism is reformulated (in one direction or another). For this reason we call the participation to a thematic issue of Teknokultura. Journal of Digital Culture and Social Movements dedicated to digital capitalism.
In this number we seek for contributions from academics and activists looking at digital capitalism, its many problems and perhaps its multiple solutions. Contributions are invited from a range of topics and perspectives, including, but not restricted to:
  • Digital Sociology
  • Platform Politics
  • Law and algorithmic governmentality
  • Biopolitics, sexism and racism
  • Digital Anthropology
  • Digital Capitalism’s Political Economy
  • Digital Welfare State
We also are delighted to extend this call to workers, activists and political and social organizers who, from institutions, unions or social organizations are dealing with digital capitalism.
Final drafts will be due April 15, 2020. Questions and topic inquiries for this thematic issue can be directed to the guest editors Aitor Jiménez and César Rendueles at aitor@auckland.ac.nz. Articles may be submitted in Spanish, English or Portuguese. Articles must be original and must not have been previously published or be under consideration by other journals or publication.  The author guidelines are available on the website at https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/TEKN/about/submissions, and the section policies at https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/TEKN/politicasecciones
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the guest editors at: aitor@auckland.ac.nz

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