Autonomy's team regularly collaborate with publishers on a range of books

Post-Work: What It Is, Why It Matters And How We Get There (Bloomsbury, 2024)

Helen Hester and Will Stronge

What does the future hold for work in our new technological age? How do we make sure that the uncertain future into which we are heading is heavenly and not hellish? How can we take the pleasures of work with us and eliminate the pains?

The answer: we need a post-work vision.

Questioning the received wisdom that work is good for you, that you are what you do and that ‘any job is a good job’, post-work offers a new challenge to the work-centred society.  This timely book provides a vital introduction to the post-work debate – one of the most exciting political currents of recent years. It explores not only what the future of work will be like, but more importantly what the future of work should be like.

Platform Socialism: How to Reclaim our Digital Future from Big Tech (Pluto Books, 2021)

James Muldoon

A bold new manifesto for digital technology after capitalism.

 

Whoever controls the platforms, controls the future. Platform Socialism sets out an alternative vision and concrete proposals for a digital economy that expands our freedom. Powerful tech companies now own the digital infrastructure of twenty-first century social life. Masquerading as global community builders, these companies have developed sophisticated new techniques for extracting wealth from their users. James Muldoon shows how grassroots communities and transnational social movements can take back control from Big Tech. He reframes the technology debate and proposes a host of new ideas from the local to the international for how we can reclaim the emancipatory possibilities of digital platforms. Drawing on sources from forgotten histories to contemporary prototypes, he proposes an alternative system and charts a roadmap for how we can get there.

Overtime: why we need a shorter working week (Verso 2021)

Kyle Lewis and Will Stronge

Work isn’t working.

 

As precarity and low pay become further embedded in the job market, at a time when work-related stress and exhaustion are endemic, it is clear that a new, radical approach to employment is required.

 

Many industries already face existential threats from automation, climate breakdown, a crisis of care, and an ageing population. In Overtime, Kyle Lewis and Will Stronge identify a powerful and practicable response to these worrying trends: the shorter working week.

 

This urgent and timely book shows what a shorter working week means in the context of capitalist economies and delves into the history of this idea as well as its political implications. Drawing on a range of political and economic thinkers, Lewis and Stronge argue that a shorter working week could build a more just and equitable society, one based on collective freedom and human potential, providing scope for the many to achieve a happier, more fulfilling life.

 

“The centuries old struggle by workers to free themselves from the dictatorship of work has emerged once more. Freedom from drudgery and the reduction in working hours have never been won without a fight. This book will prove invaluable in arming not only those who want to understand that struggle but also more importantly those who want to engage in it.”

Work Without the Worker (Verso Books, 2021)

Phil Jones

We are told that the future of work will be increasingly automated. Algorithms, processing massive amounts of information at startling speed, will lead us to a new world of effortless labour and a post-work utopia of ever expanding leisure. But behind the gleaming surface stands millions of workers, often in the Global South, manually processing data for a pittance.

 

Recent years have seen a boom in online crowdworking platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Clickworker, and these have become an increasingly important source of work for millions of people. And it is these badly paid tasks, not algorithms, that make our digital lives possible. Used to process data for everything from the mechanics of self-driving cars to Google image search, this is an increasingly powerful part of the new digital economy, although one hidden and rarely spoken of. But what happens to work when it makes itself obsolete. In this stimulating work that blends political economy, studies of contemporary work, and speculations on the future of capitalism, Phil Jones looks at what this often murky and hidden form of labour looks like, and what it says about the state of global capitalism.