Photo of Dr Stella Morgana

Dr Stella Morgana

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow Politics


Research Overview

Stella Morgana's current 3-year research project, funded by the British Academy, proposes the first dedicated study of the gig economy in Iran, a tech bubble of online shopping, food delivery, taxi services, and care work, which is opening new spaces of employment and participation for young Iranians (half of the 80m population is under 30). It investigates how humans selling their labour through digital platforms relate to their means of production. Her research tackles how gig workers exercise their agency in a context where hybrid capitalism fuels labour alienation.

Three main questions guide her project: 1) How does the gig economy shape the relation humans versus machines, where class, gender and means of production intersect? 2) How do gig workers negotiate their spaces under the Islamic Republic? 3) Why have their roles transformed historically and politically beyond the economic dimension?

This focus on the evolving dynamics of political/economic participation from a bottom-up perspective opens new horizons for studying digital labour platforms in the Global South.

Research interests

- Middle East politics
- The dynamics of political and economic participation
- Labor history and politics in the Middle East - with a specific focus on Iran
- Hegemonic versus counter-hegemonic discourses.

Research Grants

The Gig Economy of Iran: Humans versus their Means of Production


September 2022 - August 2025