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Solidarity in the Sharing Economy: The Role of Platform Cooperatives at the Base of the Pyramid

Abstract

In recent years, we have witnessed growing interest at the intersection of two important phenomena: the rise of the sharing economy and long-standing interest in tackling pressing social and environmental issues at the base of the pyramid (BoP). While the sharing economy offers potential in tackling these issues, we argue on the basis of a growing body of research that its contemporary manifestations have largely failed to live up to their potential. We argue that an important reason for this is that research and practice have tended to focus on corporate forms of sharing platforms and have largely neglected their cooperative peers. In this chapter, we first distinguish corporate platforms from a nascent group of platform cooperatives before developing a typology of platform cooperatives in the BoP. This typology builds on early efforts to construct typologies of platform cooperatives in the Global North and thereby highlights various cases that show potential in overcoming the limitations of corporate platforms while offering important social and environmental benefits. Our typology helps identify areas for future applications and development of platform cooperativism and points to important areas of future research in both BoP contexts and beyond.

Keywords

  • Sharing economy
  • Base of the pyramid
  • Platform capitalism
  • Platform cooperatives

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Fig. 11.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    All of these examples of platform cooperatives and cooperative-run platforms may be found in the directory of the Internet of Ownership. For a discussion on the Internet of Ownership, see (Schneider 2018b).

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Mannan, M., Pek, S. (2021). Solidarity in the Sharing Economy: The Role of Platform Cooperatives at the Base of the Pyramid. In: Qureshi, I., Bhatt, B., Shukla, D.M. (eds) Sharing Economy at the Base of the Pyramid. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-2414-8_11

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