GLODEM & International Relations Department are pleased to announce Robert Henry Cox’s talk on May 4.
Date: 4 May 2023
Venue: CASE 127, Koç University
Speakers: Robert Henry Cox, University of South Carolina
Title: How the Digital Economy Affects Welfare States: Updating Social Rights in an Age of Precarious Employment
Abstract: Social Rights are the normative foundation of welfare states in liberal democracies. Yet, the rise of the digital economy poses four fundamental challenges to the integrity of social rights. The first, and most widely discussed, is the proliferation of short-term, contract employment, known as “gigs,” that threatens to undermine the full-time employment models and erode the power of the political left. Second, the digital economy threatens to undo the egalitarian achievements of welfare states by reducing social protection for marginalized groups and increasing the income gaps across sectors of the labor market. Third, the increasing reliance on artificial intelligence mechanisms for assessing eligibility and detecting fraudulent activity violate the notion of impartiality embedded in the provision of social rights. Finally, social rights depend on the territorial integrity of the nation-state. The digital economy, by contrast, operates across and beyond the boundaries of nation-states, and in ways that make it difficult for states to maintain traditional methods of social support.