INCA project investigates the impact that so-called digital platforms have on European democracies and institutions. Indeed, while promoting economic growth and labour transformations, these platforms pose challenges to policymakers and citizens in relation to people’ participation in decision-making processes, wealth inequalities and erosion of trust into public institutions. In particular, so-called GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) are becoming more and more infrastructures for opinion-making, labour organization and political debate. Their increasing power in shaping and influencing such issues through lobbying, industrial relations and cultural impact opened up a wide debate on the way to deal with these transformations.

While European societies grew up based on liberal democracies and institutions with their capacity to sustain a coordinated market economy, today their role seems to be reduced because of the difficulties to regulate platforms’ corporate power that spread through politics, economy and culture.

Inca aims to

  • define forms to sustain trust in institutions and new models of governance capable to combine the growth of platforms with social inclusion and citizens participation in decision making processes;
  • stimulate alternative business models and industrial relations so to make GAFAM and platforms accountable to social fairness while preserving their innovation;
  • to clarify the way GAFAM influence European citizens opinion conditioning democratic processes.

Exploring the socio-historical roots behind platforms growth and the erosion of a coordinated market economy, collecting solid data on GAFAM lobbying, industrial relations and opinion-making, and producing participatory actions for the empowerment of democratic processes and citizens’ engagement, INCA contributes to instil greater democratic accountability and inclusion in economic processes prompted by digital transformations.