2019 Young Scholars Workshop on Platformcoops

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The organizers of the 2019 Young Scholars Workshop on Platformcoops of the Future of Citizen-based Initiatives (FOCI) hub at Utrecht University welcome abstracts (500 words max.) for publishable papers to be presented at this international workshop, to be held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on 9 December 2019.



The workshop

The meeting will be held in the wonderful historic city center of Utrecht, a major university town in the middle of the Netherlands and will be hosted by the Institutions for Collective Action research team and the FOCI-Hub as part of the Strategic Theme Institutions for Open Societies of Utrecht University.


The theme of this workshop, 'Governing the platform: Self-help, mutual aid, and cooperativism', aims to bring together PhD-students with state-of-the-art scientific knowledge on platformcoops as an alternative governance model for the platform economy. Recently, we see new online platforms emerging that take on a substantially different model than the typical Uber or Airbnb. Platform cooperatives such as Loconomics, Fairbnb, and Stocksy United are digitally-mediated organizations that are collectively owned and democratically governed by their users, instead of by external shareholders.

The workshop starts with a keynote by professor Koen Frenken, who is internationally renowned for his expertise on the political economy of platforms. Of course there is plenty of opportunity to exchange tips and tricks with your peers. Two senior-commentators will also read the papers in advance and provide more in-depth comments after your presentation. The workshop ends with reflections from a practitioner. Papers can deal with research questions such as: What is the impact of member group size on the functioning of platformcoops? How do worker-owned platforms relate to the history of worker cooperatives? What legislative obstacles do leaders of platformcoops perceive in different countries? To what extent do social relations between vacation rental hosts and guests differ between cooperative and capitalist platforms? Submissions from various disciplines and contexts, both empirical and conceptual, are welcome.


Keynote speakers


  • Prof. dr. Koen Frenken (Utrecht University, the Netherlands; confirmed)
  • Representative of a platformcoop (TBA)


Preliminary program


08:30 - 09:00
Registration + welcome with coffee and tea
09:00 - 09:05
Opening and introduction of the workshop
09:05 - 10:05
Keynote by Prof. dr. Koen Frenken on “Platform (self-)governance
10:05 - 10:20
Questions and discussion with keynote speaker
10:20 - 10:35
Coffee and tea break
10:35 - 12:35
PhD presentations session 1
12:40 - 13:40 Lunch
13:45 - 15:45
PhD presentations session 2
15:45 - 16:00
Coffee and tea break
16:00 - 16:45
Reflections from a practitioner
16:45 - 17:00
Questions and discussion with representative of a platformcoop
17:00 - 17:05
Closing of workshop


Submission guidelines

  • All abstracts should be submitted ultimately on 25 October via: collective-action@uu.nl
  • The text of your abstract should be no longer than 500 words (including references)
  • Please also submit relevant keywords regarding topics and region
  • All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by at least two selected reviewers
  • You will be notified about the reviewing result ultimately by 31 October
  • Full papers have to be submitted ultimately by 25 November


Please note

  • Presenters of selected papers will be offered free accommodation close to the venue for the night before the workshop (arrival on 8 December, departure on 9 December). Travel costs are not covered.
  • On 8 December, there will be a get-together with drinks in the evening. Accepted authors will receive information on this.
  • Lunch, coffee and tea are provided during the workshop. There are vegetarian and vegan options, but for other dietary requirements please contact the workshop team


Local Organizing Committee


  • Damion Bunders MSc (PhD-candidate Research Team ‘Institutions for Collective Action’, Utrecht University)
  • Eva Vriens MSc (PhD-candidate Department of Sociology, Utrecht University),
  • Prof. dr. Tine De Moor (Professor of Institutions for Collective Action in Historical Perspective, Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University)



Get in touch with the workshop organizers: collective-action@uu.nl


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