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Call for Papers: Platform Governance and Politics

2022 Workshop of the DVPW Working Group Digitalization and Politics

One of the most momentous changes that marks the digital transformation of societies is a trend towards ‘platformization’. Platformization can be understood as an increase of platform-shaped companies and business models (as in many ‘sharing economy’ business models), but also more generally as the advent of an organizational principle that relies upon user-based content, scalability, and modularization, among other aspects. The overall implications of platformization have been vividly discussed by scholars from different disciplines and policymakers alike for several years now, for example with regard to the effects of large online platforms on business models, public discourse, and political polarization.


This workshop of the DVPW Working Group Digitalization and Politics will zoom in on the political implications of platformization. It deals with the interactions between platformization and policies, politics, political institutions, and regulatory action. The workshop will also engage with related questions of power, social inequality, gender (in)justice, and sustainability. It aims at gathering current research about the political implications of platform governance from all career levels. The contributions will be organized in thematic panels and each presentation or paper will receive extensive and constructive feedback. The workshop will allow for exchange in English and German, and the organizers commit themselves to a working climate of respect and empowerment. We are interested in empirical and theoretical papers and encourage the submission of qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as early work. Contributions can address, but are not limited, to the following topics:


  • Platform regulation and governance
  • Social media; public spheres; political communication
  • Business models; gig work
  • Gig/sharing economy
  • Smart city; sustainability
  • Political participation; democratic representation
  • Resistance and collective action


Relevant work in these and other areas explores how platformization plays out in political institutions and processes, for example how platforms shape the work of public agencies, political parties, activist and interest groups, etc. Do platforms, for instance, propagate market logics, or are their activities mediated by other organizational logics? Who are the winners and losers of platform economies and platform politics? In addition, the workshop will address timely questions about how platforms can and should be regulated or governed and which political conflicts arise around platform governance.


The workshop will take place on 28–29 September at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Scholars interested in participating in the workshop are invited to submit a short proposal (max. 300 words) by 31 August 2022. Send your proposal in a PDF to platformgovernancewzbeu. Please indicate whether you intend to hand in a long or a short paper. Full papers (15-20 pages) or short papers (5 pages) are expected for 14 September 2022 (2 weeks before the event).


In exceptional cases, travel and accommodation costs can be covered by the organizers – in case of need, please send a message to


Kind regards, the speakers of the DVPW Working Group Digitalization and Politics


Dr. Pascal König

Prof. Dr. Angela Oels

Dr. Julia Schwanholz

Dr. Lena Ulbricht


Where? University of Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstr. 53, 47057 Duisburg

Call for Papers as PDF