Sharing the liberal utopia. The case of Uber in France and the US

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

Abstract

This article takes the case of Uber, a global platform specialized in transport technologies, to reappraise the claims of the sharing economy. The case presents a chronology of the struggles over the regulation of these digital markets in the US and France, using Uber's self-description and web discourse for additional illustrative purposes. It exposes Uber's business model, the key driving actors and their strategies as well as multi-scalar counter movements. The analysis is framed from a Hayekian and a Polanyian perspective, and the potential of the sharing economy to go beyond market fundamentalism. The Polanyian utopia of sharing as more than market relations based on self-interest is mobilized for legitimizing the platform. The Hayekian utopia of a market society which transforms social relations of friendship and community service into market activities is describing actual development. Finally, Polanyian "counter movements" are described and their potentials are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameSRE - Discussion Papers
No.2018/07

WU Working Paper Series

  • SRE - Discussion Papers

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