In front of the general erosion of a coordinated market economy based on liberal societies and democratic institutions accelerated by digital transformations, INCA aims to define forms to sustain new models of governance capable to combine the growth of platforms with social inclusion and citizens’ participation in decision-making processes. The objective is to investigate the historical roots of these transformations, and their effects in terms of inequalities and exclusion and to prose and test alternative models of corporate governance for better democratic accountability.

INCA will articulate its work in a way where all the dimensions and workflows will cross over 

To this end, INCA will conduct three workflows: firstly, it will produce a robust socio-historical overview of the transformations brought about by the development of big-tech platforms, with a particular focus on the so-called GAFAM, considered as fundamental infrastructures for today’s political, economic and social life. We assume that a robust theoretical framework supports a better understanding of the challenges digital platforms raise today. Secondly, through an empirical stream of research, INCA aims to furnish qualitative and quantitative data for understanding the way platforms influence law-making processes, industrial relations and citizens’ opinions. And thirdly, INCA will sustain citizens’ and democratic institutions’ participation in the formulation of policies and testing of alternatives for a fairer development and accountability of the platform economy. A number of participatory actions will be organised in this stream of research.

These three workflows will be carried out in three different dimensions or spheres where the big-tech companies deploy their power: Politics, economics and culture.

NOTE: Although the abovementioned dimensions will be treated as separate ones, it is important to notice the interlinked and intertwined all of them are together. When considering economic aspects, for instance, we inevitably are dealing with society as well, as we talk about the labour force and people’s wages, which directly impact their way of life. Politics and the economy are also strongly interconnected, with each constantly influencing the other.