Amir’s research focus is on the political economy of globalisation in the Global South, with a particular interest on the growth of knowledge economy and its impacts on the economy and society in Africa, in ongoing collaboration with Mark Graham.
Dr Mohammad Amir Anwar
Dr. Mohammad Amir Anwar was a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute where he also taught the course on Economic Development in Digital Capitalism. Mohammad is also a Fellow of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Digital Economy and Society, and a Research Associate at the School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg. He holds a Ph.D in Geography from Trinity College Dublin. He has extensive experience of conducting research both in India and Africa.
At the OII, Mohammad was part of the ERC-funded project Geonet: investigating the changing connectivities and potentials of Sub-Saharan Africa’s knowledge economy. The project examines the geographies, drivers, and effects of Sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging information economies at a time of changing connectivity and Internet access across the region. He is the leading the research on digital outsourcing and gig economy in Africa. To this end, he conducted a year-long fieldwork in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda, conducting in-depth interviews with remote gig workers, call centre agents, business owners, self-employed digital entrepreneurs, social enterprises, private sector associations, government officials, and industry experts.
Mohammad’s work has appeared in well-regarded peer-reviewed journals, such as African Geographical Review, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, First Monday, and, Urban Forum. Peer-reviewed book chapters have been published by Sage and Cambridge University Press. He regularly contributes to public debate through blogs, articles for online news sources, and radio interviews. His articles have appeared in New Statesman and The Conversation.
Mohammad has received funding from the Foundation of Urban and Regional Studies and more recently Knowledge Exchange and Impact Acceleration Award from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) UK. His PhD was funded through Trinity Research Studentship, Trinity College, University of Dublin.
Before joining the OII he worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). At UJ, his work examined at the political economy of India’s engagements in Africa. He also briefly worked as a Research Assistant at Trinity College Dublin, for an Irish Research Council funded project on the role of information and communication technologies in enterprise development and industrial change in Africa.
Globalisation, Economic Geography, African Political Economy, Digital Economy, Digital Value Creation, Future of Work, Humans of the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Digital Labour, Gig Economy, Labour Movements, Employment/Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty, International Financial Institutions, Foreign Direct Investments, Global Governance, Research Design and Methods.
Positions held at the OII
- Research Associate, March 2020-
- Post-Doctoral Researcher, December 2015 – January 2020
Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Dr Stefano De Sabbata, Nicolas Friederici, Dr Christopher Foster, Sanna Ojanperä, Dr Mohammad Amir Anwar, Dr Fabian Braesemann, Michel Wahome
This research project is examining the geographies, drivers, and effects of Sub-Saharan Africa's emerging information economies at a time of changing connectivity and Internet access across the region.
- (2019) "Minimum Wages for Online Labour Platforms? Regulating the Global Gig Economy." In: 'The Digital Transformation of Labor (Open Access): Automation, the Gig Economy and Welfare Larsson, A. and Teigland, R. (eds.)Routledge Studies in Labour Economics. London: Routledge.
- (2019) "The global gig economy: towards a planetary labour markets?" In: 'The Digital Transformation of Labor: Automation, the Gig Economy and Welfare' Larsson, A. and Teigland, R. (eds.)Routledge Studies in Labour Economics. London: Routledge.
- (2018) "Digital Labour" In: Digital Geographies Ash, J., Kitchin, R. and Leszczynski, A. (eds.). SAGE. 177-187.
- (2018) "Connecting South Africa: ICTs, Uneven Development and Poverty Debates." In: The Geography of South Africa: Contemporary Changes and New Directions Knight, J. and Rogerson, C. (eds.)World Regional Geography Book Series. Springer. 261-267.
- (2018) "Two models for a fairer sharing economy" In: The Cambridge Handbook of Law and Regulation of the Sharing Economy Nestor Davidson, John Infranca, and MicheÌle Finck Davidson, N., Infranca, J. and Finck, M. (eds.). New York: Cambridge University Press. 328-342.
- (2020) "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Freedom, Flexibility, Precarity and Vulnerability in the Gig Economy in Africa", Competition and Change: the journal of global political economy.
- (2019) "Hidden Transcripts of the Gig Economy: Labour Agency and the New Art of Resistance among African Gig Workers", Environment and Planning A.
- (2019) "Digital labour at economic margins: African workers and the global information economy", Review of African Political Economy.
- (2019) "Does economic upgrading lead to social upgrading in contact centers? Evidence from South Africa.", African Geographical Review. 38 (3) 209-226.
- (2019) "The global gig economy: Towards a planetary labour market?", First Monday. 24 (4).
- (2019) "The global gig economy: Towards a planetary labour market?", First Monday.
- (2017) "Digital Connectivity and African Knowledge Economies", Questions de communication. 32 (32) 345-360.
- (2016) "Bringing globalization to the countryside: Special Economic Zones in India", Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 37 (2) 121-138.
- (2014) "The Diffusion and Impacts of Information and Communication Technology on Tourism in the Western Cape, South Africa", Urban Forum. 25 (4) 531-545.
- (2014) "Indian Foreign Direct Investments in Africa: A Geographical Perspective", Bulletin of Geography. Socio–Economic Series. 26 (26) 35-49.
- (2014) "New Modes of Industrial Manufacturing: India's Experience with Special Economic Zones", Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series. 24 (24) 7-25.
- (2013) Book Review, Mace, A (2013) City Suburbs: Placing Suburbia in a Post-suburban World, London: Routledge. RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group. Royal Geographical Society, Urban Geography Research Group.
- (2011) Book Review, Banarjee-Guha (2010) Accumulation by Dispossession: Transformative Cities in the New Global Order, New Delhi: Sage. RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group.. Royal Geographical Society, Urban Geography Research Group.
- (2019) Most call centre jobs are a dead end for South Africa’s youth. The Conversation.
- (2018) How Marx predicted the worst effects of the gig economy more than 150 years ago.. New Statesman.
- (2017) Obsession with growth won’t help South Africa’s economic recovery.. The Conversation.
- (2017) White people in South Africa still hold the lion’s share of all forms of capital. The Conversation.
- (2016) Low income and high competition: digital jobs in a neoliberal age. Union Solidarity International.
- (2015) The lesser known story of India’s role in Ethiopian land deals. The Conversation.
- (2015) Why south-south co-operation is a myth when it comes to BRICS and Africa. The Conversation.
- (2014) UN Security Council’s failure stretches from Syria to Crimea. The Conversation.
- (2013) Book Review of: A. Mace (2013) City Suburbs: Placing Suburbia in a Post-suburban World, London: Routledge.. Royal Geographical Society, IBG Urban Geography Research Group.
- (2011) Book Review of: Banerjee-Guha, S. (2010) Accumulation by Dispossession: Transformative Cities in the new Global Order, Sage. Royal Geographical Society, IBG Urban Geography Research Group..
20 November 2019
Three academics from the Oxford Internet Institute, have been invited to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils, providing thought leadership on key global challenges and the impact and governance of emerging technologies.
17 April 2019
Author: Mohammad Anwar
Mark Graham and I have just published a new article in the African Geographical Review. The article’s main argument is that economic upgrading in ...
23 March 2017
Author: Mohammad Anwar
The trade union leaders from across the African continent are coming together to meet in Dakar, Senegal for 4th UNI Africa Regional Conference on March ...
27 February 2017
Author: Mohammad Anwar
This is a short post about the research that I lead into digital work and the digital economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. The work that ...
9 August 2018 The New Statesman
Looking at the current global gig economy through the lens of Karl Marx, it seems that many of his insights on capitalism are still relevant in the contemporary era.
1 April 2016 Union Solidarity International
Amir Anwar discusses the impact of digital work platforms such as Upwork on working lives, and debunks the idea that digital jobs are an easy solution to poverty.