This commentary on the article by Grabher and König focuses on the controversy in theliterature between “sharing economy” and “platform economy”. In light of the theoreticaland historical perspective expressed by Karl Polanyi in his classicThe Great Transforma-tionand adopted by the two authors, sharing economy can be interpreted as an attemptof a resocialization of the economy, while platform economy seems to fully realize whatPolanyi calls the “market society”. Grabher and König rightly criticize Polanyi’s “doublemovement”, but, in our opinion, they do not draw all the consequences of their criticism.In fact, the theoretical structure they propose fails to explain the reasons why the 1929crisis was followed by a process of re-embedding of the economy through state interven-tion, while after the 2008 crisis this process did not take place and the neoliberal modelcontinued to rule the society. Indeed, with the diffusion of the platform economy thismodel has been further strengthened. Nevertheless, we still believe that digital technolo-gies are in themselves open to different forms of underlying social relations and internalgovernance. Therefore, it is on such relationships that theoretical attention and politicalaction should be focused. A movement that intends to change the present situation caneffectively leverage the new technologies, by guiding them towards reciprocity relationscapable of revitalizing the civil society and the internal cohesion of the democratic state.
- Platform economy
- sharing economy