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Stalling the State: How Digital Platforms Contribute to and Profit From Delays in the Enforcement and Adoption of Regulations

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Serafin,  Marcin
Assoziierte Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS PAN), Polish Academy of Sciences, Warschau, Poland;

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CPS_2022_Serafin.pdf
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Citation

Mazur, J., & Serafin, M. (2022). Stalling the State: How Digital Platforms Contribute to and Profit From Delays in the Enforcement and Adoption of Regulations. Comparative Political Studies. doi:10.1177/00104140221089651.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-A4E8-7
Abstract
While it is often claimed that the pace of digital transformation is such that its own, often glacial changes do not allow the state to catch up, we argue that technological companies, with the help of some state actors, have been slowing the state down. To capture this phenomenon, we introduce the notion of stalling strategies. We argue that stalling strategies have allowed digital platforms to create time that they have spent generating revenue and accumulating platform power, which later protected them from state actions. Drawing on a case study of Uber in Poland and a number of shadow cases, we distinguish five stalling strategies: reinventing classifications, dragging out court proceedings, stealing the time of street-level bureaucrats, delaying new regulations, and taking time to (not) comply. By analyzing stalling strategies, this article contributes to discussions about the politics of platform capitalism, the temporality of digitalization, and institutional drift.