Discover cutting-edge research from COVER

Our research is theoretically and empirically exploring the possibility of an exciting ‘commons’ world.

COVER brings together wide-ranging academic and practical knowledge into the impactful study and application of commons-based values for innovatively and concretely improving goods, services, work, community, and governance.

Our interdisciplinary research fosters close ties and affiliations with a number of research centres across the University of Essex, including; the Centre for Ideology and Discourse Analysis, the Human Rights Centre, the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation, the Interdisciplinary Studies Centre, the Institute for Analytics and Data Science and the Knowledge Innovation Centre.

Our research focus:

Our research is uniquely focused on the theoretical and practical implications of these "post-capitalist" principles for transforming economic management, efficiently meeting individual and community needs, fostering more effective public policies, and expanding 20th century human rights.

Further, we seek to answer questions of how such commons ideas and initiatives can be properly marketed, maximize their financial and environmental sustainability, and establish alternative cooperative based global value chains.

Our research projects:

Professor Peter Bloom: Shared Futures

This project creates new technologies for promoting the social economy within communities. It includes a first of its kind online community project platform that is being launched in Northern Ireland and Ireland in 2022 coupled with an empowering programme for young people in Belfast.

We hope that in the near future this will be used to promote democracy and cooperation by governments, Universities, organisations, and communities world wide.


Visit the Shared Futures project

Professor Phoebe V Moore: Digitalisation and Workers' Rights

COVER co-lead Professor Phoebe V Moore, aka the Quantified Worker, is a prolific researcher whose vision about quantified work is seen within her third monograph The Quantified Self in Precarity on new materiality and labour relations surrounding wearable technologies at work.

Professor Moore’s arguments about algorithmic management and AI augmented work surveillance technologies have entered high level policy circles, sponsored by European Parliament, the EU Safety & Health Agency, the UN International Labour Organization ACTRAV, and most recently the ILO Research Department with her project Policy Observatory for Work in the Digital Economy.

Discover more about Professor Moore's work on the future of work

Dr. George Kokkinidis: Erasmus – Social Economy Education

Dr George Kokkinidis is oart of a funded team creating a standard social economy curriculum to be used in Universities and communities. 

Joining Social Economy Forces towards Community development, Connected societies, Co-creation of knowledge and Collaborative education practices is a Knowledge Alliance co-financed under Erasmus+ seeking to create an enabling environment for the Social Economy to thrive by promoting closer partnerships between Higher Education Institutions active in Social Economy, Social Economy organisations and enterprises, as well as community stakeholders.

Our key objectives are to:

  • Provide an overview of the current Social Economy education landscape
  • Pilot Social Economy Living Labs in 3 EU countries and the UK
  • Bridge the gap in supply and demand of SE education and skills


Visit the Social Economy Education project

Dr. Stevphen Shukaitis: Minor Compositions

Minor Compositions is a series of interventions & provocations drawing from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.

Operating as an open access media project since 2009, Minor Compositions seeks to bring practices of common-ing into theorizing and media production.

Thus far over 45 books have been published including David Graeber, Stefano Harney, Fred Moten, Felix Guattari, Erin Manning, and many others.


Visit the Minor Compositions project

Dr. Nicholas Beuret: Commons Masters

Nicholas is currently taking a leading role in the design and development the new MSc in Social Economy, drawing on his previous research on the commons and social economy, and his past experience in the broader not for profit sector.

Nicholas is also currently building and delivering a ‘Masters in Commons Administration’ as a part of the broader work on the commons of the new independent Institutes for Commons, of which is a core member.

He is also a board member of the European movement education project Common Ecologies.


Discover more about the Masters in Commons Administration

Professor Anuj Kapilashrami: Community initiatives to tackle (in)Equities in mental health and well-being

Intersectional Network Of community and stakeholder Voices, And research to Tackle (in)Equities (INNOVATE) in mental health and well-being is a project funded by AHRC - UKRI.

INNOVATE is a consortium that catalyses multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder dialogue, research, and practice that deepens intersectional analysis and its application to drive a new transformative research and praxis agenda for health and social care while prioritising engagement of underserved population groups.

The consortium will produce new ways to consider health inequality challenges, drawing on leading-edge intersectional analysis, and offer grounded insights, practical tools and innovative approaches to build capabilities, and foster resilient systems and healthy communities.


Discover more about the INNOVATE project

Dr. Jamie Woodcock: OrganiseNow!

Organise Now! is a peer to peer network established by BFAWU (the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers Union), Strike Map, and Notes from Below. It connects people who want to try and change their working conditions with more experienced people for the trade union movement and other campaigning organisations.

The project is hosted through an online platform and has had hundreds of volunteers sign up since the launch in August 2022. However, there is little funding to support the early phase of the project. A grant could accelerate the process by providing support for outreach and website costs.

This project has the potential to shed new light into two important areas: first, what are the issues that low-paid and precarious workers face - and how can they address these? Second, what new forms of organisation can support collective self-organisation?

Through engaging with partners in the Organise Now! project, these questions can be collectively explored, as well as generating meaningful impact.


Visit the Organise Now! project

Our research highlights:

Contributions to book series and journals

 The Anthem Series on Politics and Society After Work publishes scholarly interdisciplinary work on the creation of empowering post-work societies locally and globally, seeking to better critically understand how technology can liberate individuals and lead to more emancipatory social, organisational, and inter-personal relationships while also transforming the everyday practices and deeper ideologies our current neoliberal status quo. The series focuses on the different political, cultural and institutional arrangements and perspectives associated with the move toward a potential “post-work” economy.

 This a series of interventions & provocations drawing from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.

Global Political Economy (GPE) is the much-anticipated journal for the discipline of global political economy, with an explicit intention of cross-disciplinarity, spanning international relations, sociology, feminism and gender studies, political science, business studies, science and technology studies, communications, economics, geography, and more, encouraging debates and discussions across these arenas.

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Contact us
Centre for Commons Organising Values Equalities and Resilience (COVER) Co-Directors:
Peter Bloom, Phoebe Moore, and Stevphen Shukaitis
Essex Business School University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex