Hot off the press in our March 2023 issue (Antipode volume 55, number 2), Felipe N.C. Magalhães’ “Popular Economies In, Against, and Through the Platform” looks behind the conjunctural growth of popular economies in Brazilian cities, at a set of entangled disputes over urban density with important political consequences.
While popular economic agents such as street vendors and hawkers are repressed by local governments, informal work hired through digital platforms has been growing exponentially, engendering new precarious forms of assembling labour relations in, and extracting value from, global South cities. The contrasts and indirect relations between digital platforms and popular economic agents are important in understanding the growth of platforms, which hinges on accessing low-wage workers whose attempts to make an independent living are otherwise prohibited.
This dynamic, Magalhães argues, has resulted in the political mobilisation of popular economic agents and their alliances with urban social movements. In “Popular Economies In, Against, and Through the Platform”, the author examines how their networking and particular disputes for a right to the city hold potential for the emergence of other economies.
Click below to hear more about Felipe’s research and its implications for theory and praxis…