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Dr Nick Srnicek

Lecturer in Digital Economy

Nicholas Srnicek-248-croppedEmail nick.srnicek@kcl.ac.uk
Tel +44(0)20 7848 7995
Address Department of Digital Humanities
S3.27, Strand Building
King’s College London
London WC2R 2LS  

 

 

 

Biography

Nick is a Lecturer in Digital Economy in the Department of Digital Humanities. Currently he is finishing writing (with Helen Hester) a book on what anti-work politics and social reproduction theory can learn from each other. His next project will be on the political economy of artificial intelligence. 

Broadly speaking, Nick’s research is interested in the interactions between changes in economies, changes in technology, and changes in political organisation. His work has attempted to analyse both the threats and opportunities that are emerging from our new digital landscape, and to outline potential ways forward for radical politics. The products of this research – a series of books, articles, and a manifesto – have been translated into over 20 languages. 

Nick’s education spans from psychology to philosophy to international politics. In 2013, he completed his PhD in International Relations at LSE, on the topic of computational modelling and its effects of global political actors. He has written books on the potential opportunities of contemporary automation, as well as the emerging platform monopolies of the digital economy, and has published peer-reviewed papers on French philosophy and the use of economic modelling in central banks. 

Prior to joining King’s in 2017, Nick previously taught at University of Westminster, University of West London, UCL, and City, University of London. He was also an editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • Platform economics
  • The political economy of AI
  • Anti-work politics
  • Marxist economics

Nick’s current interests are in the emerging digital economy, anti-work politics, and the development of Marxist economics. He has recently published a book, Platform Capitalism, which sets out a framework for understanding the novelties of businesses like Google, Amazon, and Alibaba – as well as how digital platforms generate new tendencies within our economies. He will be continuing this research by examining the political economy of AI, and looking at how (beyond automation) AI will affect the power dynamics of contemporary capitalism.

Nick’s work is also engaged in the long tradition of anti-work politics. His first book, Inventing the Future (co-written with Alex Williams), was an attempt to elaborate an anti-work politics in the context of modern technological changes. His forthcoming book, After Work (co-written with Helen Hester), seeks to expand anti-work politics into the field of social reproduction by looking at how the often unwaged work of cleaning, cooking, and caring can be reduced within society.

Lastly, Nick holds an abiding interest in the development of specifically Marxist forms of economics. With global economic growth slowing down, as well as rising economic disparities between the waged and unwaged, the rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless, historical materialism provides the most useful tools for understanding where we are, and where we are going.

Selected publications
  • Hester, Helen and Nick Srnicek, After Work: The Politics of Free Time, London: Verso, 2018.
  • Srnicek, Nick, “The Eyes of the State: How Central Banks Think,” AI & Society (forthcoming)
  • Srnicek, Nick, Platform Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity, 2016.
  • Srnicek, Nick, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, London: Verso, 2015.
Expertise & public engagement

Nick has recently been made a Fellow at the RSA. His work has been discussed in a variety of media including The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and Libération. He has given public talks at places around the world, such as Glastonbury, Tate Britain, Centre Pompidou, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and has made a number of recent media appearances on BBC, Sky, Channel 4, and CBC.

Nick’s research has also been incorporated into art and design exhibitions across the globe, been taken up by a number of political parties, and been the focus of debates in a number of countries. His book Inventing the Future is currently being produced into a documentary film, directed by Isiah Medina.

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