The Geopolitics of Automation

Automation threatens economic disruption. The Project aims to understand how competition between China and the US to develop automated technologies shapes the future of work. Focusing on warehouses linked to Alibaba and Amazon in Australia, Germany and Malaysia, the Project asks how automation changes labour conditions and modifies geopolitical tensions. Digital simulations of automated technologies in warehouses key to the China- US rivalry will seek to augment knowledge about the governance of labour and territory. Intended outcomes include insights into how automation is a geopolitical and economic concern for policy makers. Benefits should offer strategies for organisations negotiating automation’s effects on workforces.


  • Professor Ned Rossiter (Western Sydney University)
  • Professor Brett Neilson (Western Sydney University)
  • Professor Anna Munster  (University of New South Wales)
  • Associate Professor Liam Magee (Western Sydney University)
  • Associate Professor Sandro Mezzadra (University of Bologna)
  • Professor Manuela Bojadzijev (Humboldt University)
  • Associate Professor Orit Halpern (Concordia University)
  • Associate Professor Yuk Hui (City University of Hong Kong)

Funding: Australian Research Council (opens in a new window), Discovery Project

Period: 2020-2024

Contact: Professor Ned Rossiter