Contemporary dynamics of the future of work, the platform economy and transient migrants

Emsie Arnoldi's picture
Call for Papers
July 15, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Economic History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Labor History / Studies

Call for Papers of 2021 Special Issue


Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration


Guest Editors


Dr Emsie Arnoldi, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (

Dr Rachelle Bosua, Assistant Professor, Open University, Netherlands (

Honorary Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia


Overcoming the structural, spatial and temporal dimensions of human work and employment interference in complex ecosystems has received ongoing attention from researchers for decades and is the subject of ardent debate.  Digital transformation, for example, the process of adopting new digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes, is rapidly changing work and the nature of work, where, when and how people work. These changes have been evolving over the last decades toward mobility and flexibility of workers. The trend towards a more flexible, mobile working model, whilst holding significant advantages for global and local economies, environment and ultimately, alternative work models, also replacing ‘jobs’ with ‘tasks’ and influencing employment relationships by reshaping them or creating new ones, but they all are characterised by increased flexibility and ‘labour on demand’. This trend is enhanced by transient migration due to the global movement of people for work, overall low market stability, and new economic models, including the platform economy, which creates a parallel dimension to the traditional service industry. The platform economy is becoming an important source of income for people on the move in both developed and developing countries (Getting ready for the Future, 2019) and reduces barriers in finding opportunities to engage in productive activity. As an unintended consequence, it may promote inclusion for women, persons with disabilities, people in remote areas, and migrant and transient workers.


Moreover, the platform economy has enabled jobs to be flexible, translocated, transitory, temporary transient, thus enabling the creation of entirely new types of work such as digital, virtual and transient labour.


We have very little information on how transient migrants cope with these changes. Thus, this special issue will address the question how mobile and flexible work create value in work for the transient worker, their coping mechanisms, how the boundaries between play and work connected with the consumption and co-creation of goods and services are altered as well as how these new trends affect the private life, family life, networks, sense of belonging and identity of individual transient migrant individuals and communities.



European Training Foundation (2019) Getting ready for the Future: Managing Transitions’ Accessed 13 January 2020:



Special consideration will be given to papers that focus on contemporary dynamics of the future of work, the platform economy and transient migrants and related to one or more of the following themes:


  • New employment relationships
  • Adaptation
  • Security
  • Social inclusion/exclusion
  • Emotional well-being
  • Sense of community
  • Meaning making
  • Support networks
  • Private life
  • Family life
  • Sense of belonging
  • Identity
  • Wellbeing
  • New forms of work
  • Place and space


The due date for complete high-quality paper submissions is July 15, 2020. People intending to submit articles to this 2021 Special Issue should contact Dr Emsie Arnoldi or Dr Rachelle Bosua by May 30, 2020. All manuscripts will be reviewed in a double-blind review process. See Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration manuscript guidelines or at Your original work may be submitted by email to Dr Emsie Arnoldi (


Dr Rachelle Bosua (