Apps & Politics


Because apps have turned into mundane software, every industry actor or societal sector is implicated in the app economy, from transportation (e.g. Uber, DiDi and Lyft) to health care and wellness (Strava and COVID-19 tracking apps), and from connectivity (WhatsApp, Line and WeChat) to entertainment (Netflix, YouTube and Subway Surfers). As a result, the politics of app production, or, as critical media studies scholars would say, the political economy of the app ecosystem, is slowly but steadily becoming a key scholarly concern. Three fields of study include the politics of apps in their research agendas: platform studies, business studies and critical political economy of communications. This chapter investigates apps taking an interdiscipinary perspective.

In Encyclopedia of Technology & Politics, pp. 269–273