Politics and the Future of Work in Middle-Income Countries (PolDigWork)
How Hopes and Fears about Digitalization Shape Opinions on Social and Labour Policies
In an era of rapid technological advancement, the digitalization of work has emerged as a pivotal force shaping economies and societies worldwide. New forms of digitalization and automation reshape how society 'works'. Innovations such as bots and robots change the nature of work and create new types of employment (e.g. gig work) and economic sectors. They also destroy existing jobs, automatizing tasks and making whole branches of the economy redundant. Social and political scientists begin to understand the processes and outcomes of this transformation in advanced industrialized countries. Especially for middle-income countries, however, we still know relatively little about the political consequences of the future of work. This research project delves into the exciting realm of digitalization and its profound impact on the future of work in Middle-Income Countries. Covering three different continents, the project will explore the impact of digitalization on the future of work, with a specific focus on a nested case study of Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico. We ask how key stakeholders and ordinary citizens see technological change. Are they afraid of negative consequences such as automation, or do they see technologies like AI rather as opportunities for work?