A. Aneesh

A. Aneesh is the author of Virtual Migration (2006) who put forward the concept of algocracy now widely used to convey the growing importance and threat of algorithms in social life. In Virtual Migration Aneesh discusses the effects of the movement of labor through technology. The idea of algocracy means governance by computer algorithms, instead of bureaucratic rules or surveillance. He is Director of the Institute of World Affairs and Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Previously, he taught in the Science and Technology Program at Stanford University (2001–04). His scholarship intersects several areas of research: globalization, migration, science & technology, and intellectual property. With a wide background in the social and cultural landscape of India and the United States, Aneesh has spent a decade researching and writing about the world of programmers. Over the years his scholarship has included awards and grants from the McArthur Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Population Council, and the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. Aneesh has published a book, Neutral Accent, on India's call centers where he has coined a new term "system identities" to denote identity assigned by algorithms to the individual.

Aneesh has been interviewed on public radio and public television, and his work is taught in many universities around the world. In the United States he has lived in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. In India, he has lived in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.


A study has identified an additional system of governance, termed algocracy, which appears to govern global software projects alongside bureaucratic and market-based mechanisms. The study[1] distinguishes code-based governance system from bureaucracy and the market, and underscores the prominent features of each organizational form in terms of its ruling mechanism: bureaucracy (legal-rational), the market (price), and algocracy (programming or algorithm). Global software development projects, may be neither insourced nor outsourced, in a process that is sometimes termed "remote insourcing."[2] These projects are developed together where a common software platform allows different teams around the world to work on the same project together.


He has written or edited the following books:


  • Interviewed on Asia Pacific Forum, WBAI 99.5 New York City, on digital labor and social entrepreneurship, 27 June 2011

"Julian Assange and Osama Bin Laden – enemies of the state?" an op-ed article in the San Francisco Chronicle, 10 December 2010 Interviewed on International Focus, Milwaukee Public Television. Topic: Patenting Life, 17 October 2010 Interviewed on the Gary Null Radio Show on the topic of globalization and poverty (August 2006). Interviewed on At Issue with Ben Merens, Wisconsin Public Radio, on employment and outsourcing, 12 July 2006.


  • "Citizenship Is A Myth" in Noema Magazine, January 2021.
  • "Bloody Language: Clashes and Constructions of Linguistic Nationalism in India," in Sociological Forum, 25, 1, March 2010.
  • "Global Labor: Algocratic Modes of Organization," in Sociological Theory, 27, 4, 2009. Translated in German for publication in Internationale Arbeitsräume: Unsicherheiten und Herausforderungen (International Workplaces: Uncertainties and Challenges), edited by Esther Ruiz Ben (Centaurus Verlag 2010).
  • "Body Shopping," an invited entry in The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, edited by Akira Iriye and Pierre Saunier. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
  • "Imperial Neutrality: Clashes of the Future in India’s Call Centers," an invited essay, Global-E, 2, 1, 2008.
  • "Specters of Global Communication," an article in Frakcija, 44, 2007.
  • "Time and the Biological Consequences of Globalization," an invited commentary in Current Anthropology, 48: 2, 2007
  • "Between Fantasy and Despair: Nationalist Closures in the Transnational Lives of Indian Programmers," a peer-reviewed article in Immigrant Life in the United States: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives, edited by Colin Wayne Leach and Dona Gabaccia. Routledge 2003.
  • "Kanpur," in Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures, edited by Melvin Ember and Carol R. Ember. Grolier Education Corp, 2002.
  • "Skill Saturation: Rationalization and Post-industrial Work," a peer-reviewed article in Theory and Society (Volume 30, Issue 3, June 2001). Reprinted in Post-Industrial Society (Sage Key Debates in Sociology) edited by Barry Smart. SAGE Publications, September 2010
  • "Rethinking Migration: High-skilled Labor Flows from India to the United States," a peer-reviewed article in The International Migration of the Highly Skilled: Demand, Supply, and Development Consequences, edited by Wayne A. Cornelius, Thomas J. Espenshade, and Idean Salehyan. La Jolla, CA: Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California-San Diego, 2001.
  • "Immigration and Naturalization Service," Encyclopedia of American Immigration, edited by James Ciment. New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2001.
  • "The Birth of God," Indian Philosophical Quarterly, vol. XVII (2), April 1990.


  1. ^ Aneesh, A. Global Labor: Algocratic Modes of Organization, Sociological Theory 27:4 December 2009
  2. ^ BPM Watch: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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