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Dr James Muldoon

Lecturer (Cornwall)

My research is on technology and politics with a focus on the digital co-operative economy and alternatives to for-profit digital platforms. My latest book manuscript currently in preparation is Platform Politics: How Big Tech Took Over the Internet…And How We Can Wit It Back.


I am also Head of Research at Autonomy_Digital, a research centre in a progressive UK think tank. In this role, I produce analysis for policy makers on the digital economy and work directly with digital businesses transitioning to fair work practices.


My latest book is Building Power to Change the World: the Political Thought of the German Council Movements (Oxford University Press, 2020). I have also written a number of articles on the history of democracy, social movements and workers' councils.


My non-academic writing has appeared in the Guardian, Time Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post, Jacobin, openDemocracy, Tribune, and Overland.


I offer courses on political theory and a variety of skills for social change such as political communication, public narrative, situation analysis and project planning. I am interested in how people can be empowered through greater skills and knowledge to act collectively and strengthen their communities.


You can also check out my YouTube channel, Political Philosophy


Research interests

My latest research is on the digital co-operative economy and fairer alternatives to platforms such as Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo. I am currently working on two grants: “Platforming Equality: Policy Challenges for the Digital Economy” funded by the ESRC and “Co-Designing a Food Delivery Platform Co-operative” with assistance from Not-Equal, a UKRI funding network.


My previous research has examined political campaigning, social movements and political parties. In particular, I have reconstructed a democratic socialist tradition in the European labour movement. This has included a study of workers’ councils and the political thought of figures such as Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, Anton Pannekoek, Karl Korsch and Richard Müller.


I have also analysed the rise of populism and the transformation of political dynamics in European democratic states due to the electoral success of the far right. I am interested in the role of social movements and political parties in articulating demands and struggling for transformative political programs. 


I have also worked on synthesising the traditions of community organising and methodologies from the NGO sector for practical training purposes. My current work focuses on the British Labour Party, Momentum and the relationship between social movements and political parties.


In political philosophy, I have worked on German Idealism, in particular G. W. F. Hegel and Immanuel Kant; French post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, and Italian post-Marxists such as Maurizio Lazzarato and Antonio Negri. I am also interested in Hannah Arendt, Jacques Rancière and Karl Marx.


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