The democratic dimensions of the EU collaborative economy ecosystem: private law challenges and solutions
PhD student: Mrs T.A. Hill
Promotor: Prof M.W. Hesselink
Duration: 1/9/2018 - 31/8/2022
My research intends to explore whether there is a democratic deficit associated with the development of the EU collaborative economy ecosystem and, if so, how and the extent to which this is manifested in private law relations between EU collaborative platform economy users, digital platform intermediaries and other stakeholders. My research uses the approach of democratic experimentalism developed by Charles Sabel, Michael Dorf and John Dewey, together with elements of a Habermasian public sphere approach, to map evidence of private law democratic interactions between contracting parties and stakeholders and identify areas where democratic relations are lacking. Furthermore, focusing on the inherent technological, socio-economic and regulatory uncertainties associated with growing the EU collaborative economy ecosystem, my research aims to explore whether the precautionary principle, which is used in EU environmental, health and food safety legislation to reduce the risk of potential harms, might prove a useful basis for developing a future harmonised EU approach to contract law in this field.