CfP: Critical Perspectives on Digital Capitalism: Theories and Praxis


tripleC_logo.jpgCfP: Critical Perspectives on Digital Capitalism: Theories and Praxis


Special Issue of the journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique (
Edited by Thomas Allmer, Sevda Can Arslan, and Christian Fuchs
(Media Systems and Media Organisation Research Group, Paderborn University)

Submission deadline: Thursday, April 20, 2023
Please submit abstracts of 250-600 words by e-mailing the completed submission form 
to thomas.allmer *A/*T/*
Accepted papers will be due for submission by September 30, 2023 (deadline) and should have a length of up to a maximum of 8,000 words.

This special issue presents critical perspectives on digital capitalism. Its contributions show how we can best critically theorise digital capitalism and what forms of political praxis exist and are needed in social struggles that stand in the context of digital capitalism.

The issue will feature contributions by Jodi Dean, Christian Fuchs, Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, and Sabine Pfeiffer.

Facebook and Google exploit our digital labour. That's digital capitalism. In late 2022 and early 2023, Google laid off 12,000 employees, Microsoft 10,000, Twitter more than 10,000, Amazon 18,000, and Facebook 11,000. That's digital capitalism. Algorithms are used by corporations for socially sorting and discriminating against customers who struggle to make ends meet and live in deprived neighbourhoods. That's digital capitalism. Lots of clickwork is conducted by poorly paid women in the Global South. That's digital capitalism. Digital fascism, fake news, post-truth culture and algorithmic politics circulate on capitalist and state-capitalist Internet platforms. That's digital capitalism. Information war and echo chambers polarise the digital public sphere, making a new World War between imperialist powers that compete at the global level for the control of territory, economic power and political as well as ideological hegemony and the nuclear annihilation of humankind and life on Earth more likely. That's digital capitalism. 

Recently, digital workers assembling iPhones protested against the poor working conditions they faced at Foxconn in Zhengzhou during the COVID-19 pandemic. That's a praxis that challenges digital capitalism. In 2021, warehouse workers founded the Amazon Labor Union. That's a praxis that challenges digital capitalism. The non-profit federated Internet platform Mastodon has become a viable digital alternative in the light of users' discontent with Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter. That's a praxis that challenges digital capitalism. Internet experts and users have co-written the Public Service Media and Public Service Internet Manifesto that demands turning the Internet into a public good and advancing digital democracy. That's a praxis that challenges digital capitalism. While fascists spread post-truth on social media, the progressive news hour Democracy Now! has since 1996 utilised the non-commercial Internet, Public Service Media, as well as community radio and television stations for broadcasting a high-quality, independent news programme that reaches millions of viewers and questions fake news. That's a praxis that challenges digital capitalism. 

Digital capitalism matters. Digital capitalism shapes our lives. Digital capitalism needs to be better understood. We need critical theories of digital capitalism. We need to better understand praxes that challenge digital capitalism and aim at fostering digital democracy and digital socialism. tripleC's special issue on "Critical Perspectives on Digital Capitalism: Theories and Praxis" wants to contribute to establishing foundations of critical theories and the philosophy of praxis in the light of digital capitalism.

We invite contributions that engage with theoretical and praxeological questions such as the following ones:

Theorising Digital Capitalism

  • What is capitalism? What concepts, definitions and theories of capitalism are best suited for theorising digital capitalism?
  • What is digital capitalism and how can and should it be theorised? What are important dimensions and aspects of digital capitalism and how should they be conceptualised?
  • What is the relationship between economic and non-economic (social, political, cultural) aspects of digital capitalism?
  • How can Marx’s Critique of Political Economy and Marx-inspired approaches best be used for theorising digital capitalism?
  • What commonalities and varieties of digital capitalism are there? What are the common features and differences of digital capitalism in various countries and regions?
  • How can classical and contemporary theories of capitalism inspire our understanding of digital capitalism (e.g. Sylvia Federici, Nancy Fraser, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, David Harvey, Frigga and Wolfgang Fritz Haug, John Maynard Keynes, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Marx, Maria Mies, Thomas Piketty, Joseph Schumpeter, Thorsten Veblein, Max Weber, etc.)?
  • What are the differences and commonalities between information society theory (and its concepts such as scientific and technological revolution, information society, post-industrial society, knowledge society, and network society) and critical theories of digital capitalism?  
  • How is digital capitalism related to and different from concepts such as informational capitalism, cognitive capitalism, emotional and affective capitalism, high-tech capitalism, communicative capitalism, surveillance capitalism, data capitalism, and platform capitalism?
  • What is the history of digital capitalism and what roles do crises play in this history?
  • What is old and new about digital capitalism?
  • What do class relations look like in digital capitalism? How can we theorise the relationship between digital labour and digital capital?
  • What roles do racism and gender relations play in digital capitalism? What does the relationship between class, racism, and patriarchy look like in digital capitalism?
  • What are the roles of violence and war in digital capitalism and how can we theorise these roles?
  • What is the relationship between digital capitalism and digital fascism (e.g. Incel Ideology, right-wing and fascist attacks)?
  • How can we best theorise the transformations of ideology in digital capitalism?
  • What is the relationship between digital capitalism and other capitalisms (industrial capitalism, finance capitalism, patriarchal capitalism, racial capitalism, fascism, post-Fordist capitalism, flexible capitalism, etc.)? 
  • How can we best understand and theorise the international and global aspects of digital capitalism? How can concepts of digital colonialism and neo-colonialism enrich the understanding of digital capitalism? 
  • How have life and labour been transformed and what do they look like in post-pandemic digital capitalism? 
  • How can we theorise the antagonism between nature and digital capital (mineral extraction, energy consumption, e-waste, etc.)?
  • How should we best conceptualise digital (in)justice, digital (in)equalities and digital ethics as part of critically theorising digital capitalism?
  • What relevant data about digital capitalism exist? How should such data best be interpreted as empirical underpinning for critical theories of digital capitalism?
  • What critical digital methods do we need for analysing digital capitalism?

 Praxis in Digital Capitalism

  • How does digital socialism differ from digital capitalism?
  • How are social struggles, activism, social movements, and resistance organised in and against digital capitalism?
  • Which roles can and should scholars from Media, Communication, Cultural and Digital Studies play in social movements and social struggles that have emerged in digital capitalism? 
  • How do the concepts of "public sociology" and "public science" matter to research on digital capitalism? What kind of Media, Communication, Cultural and Digital Studies do we need for critically analysing and theorising digital capitalism?
  • What pedagogies for liberation and what pedagogies of the oppressed do we need in and against digital capitalism?
  • What critical and participatory methods do we need to analyse digital capitalism?
  • How does platform co-operativism co-opt and/or subvert digital capitalism and digital entrepreneurship? 
  • What are the potentials and challenges of establishing a Public Service Internet (PSI) and PSI platforms as alternatives to digital capitalism?
  • How can we best understand cultural and ideological struggles in digital capitalism?