edited by Felicitas Hillmann (Networking Unit Paradigm Shift, Technische Universität Berlin)
There is no doubt that technological change is transforming labour markets worldwide and thereby altering migration patterns. New technologies may create new jobs and foster substantial change in work requirements – they enhance glocal forms of work. An increasing differentiation between movable (vs. non-movable) jobs already has had significant consequences on mobility patterns, as well as the emergence of transnational labour markets. However, technological progress also induces job loss in some segments of the labour market. This, in turn, can cause people to move elsewhere. A lack of technological progress in some countries may also make out-migration attractive. Furthermore, entangled legal infrastructure(s) of technological change, labour markets and mobility are increasingly relevant – at present we see a predominance of “trial-and-error” approaches by the various actors engaged. Legal infrastructures can simultaneously encourage and discourage employers to engage migrants with more stable contracts. Technological change especially affects labour markets and social policies regarding the way we “do” work. In different societies, cultures, and world regions, (new) technologies shape routines and work processes to different degrees and in different ways. This has implications for the value and applicability of migrants’ qualifications and skills and, in turn, for their social integration into firms and societies.
Even though we see somewhat of a gap arising between the producers and the consumers of new technologies, our knowledge of the potentials and risks of such new technologies tends to be dominated by the technology-producing community. Already today, research often depends on data that is gathered for marketing purposes rather than for scientific research. By now, the spectrum of our knowledge of the consequences of digitalization and new technologies in mobile labour and migrants’ lives is rather limited, as is our understanding of matching tools or algorithms for selected segments of the labour market. Research of the impacts of digitalization on work and migration is at the starting block – and with this special issue we invite papers that focus especially on three dimensions of change that go along with digitalisation and with the implementation of new technologies, especially concerning migrant work. First, we concentrate on the way algorithms, matching tools and websites allow for better allocation of refugees into local labour markets and into social security systems. Next, we are interested in how the use of online platforms alters the organisation of work for migrants in sectors that are highly dependent on migrant work, and in which the nature of the work does not allow for automatization (e.g. nursing and delivery services). Third, we invite papers that explore how new technologies impact traditional knowledge systems or transform the organisation of work for highly mobile workers (e.g. digital nomads, fishermen). The editorial will place in centre stage the salient features of this field of knowledge and embed the presented articles into an analytical framework.
Deadline: September 30, 2022. This issue (2022, 3) is scheduled to appear at end of November 2022.
Send your proposal to: firstname.lastname@example.org