No automation please, we're British: Technology and the prospects for work

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Volume 13, Number 1, p.117–134 (2020)


automation, investment, robots, technology, work


This article assesses the impact and probably limits of automation. It looks, in particular, at the case of the UK economy. The prospects for automation are seen as necessarily uncertain and potentially regressive in their effects, with technology likely to sustain a large number of low-quality jobs. The deep-seated problems of the UK economy-low-investment, low-productivity and low-real wages-are seen as key impediments to forms of automation that work for all in society. It is argued that, without wider institutional reform, the UK will be unable to reap the full potential of automation.