Promoting Income Security as a Right

Promoting Income Security as a Right

Europe and North America

Edited by Guy Standing

This book is about the right to a basic income: a right without conditions, just as a citizen of a good society should have the right to clean water.

Paperback, 615 Pages


March 2005

£24.99, $45.00

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About This Book

This book is about an idea that has a long and distinguished pedigree, the idea of a right to a basic income. This means having a modest income guaranteed – a right without conditions, just as every citizen should have the right to clean water, fresh air and a good education. In modern societies the conditions for moving in this direction would seem to be falling into place. Yet in the era of globalization and flexible labour relations, inequalities and insecurities can be expected to remain pervasive. The early years of the 21st century have seen the supremacy of politicians who have preached a very paternalistic alternative vision. The past decade has been one of increased state intervention in social policy; it has been the period of the erosion of industrial citizenship rights whose immediate effect has been a terrible increase in social and economic insecurity.

The case for and against the right to basic income security is considered in this book. It argues that there should be a guaranteed basic income as a citizenship right, paid to each individual, regardless of marital status, work status, age or sex. Some chapters argue that existing selective schemes for income protection are ineffectual, costly and misleading; other chapters present alternative rationales and philosophical justifications for moving towards a new form of universalism based on citizenship economic rights. 'Promoting Income Security as a Right', whose contributors include many distinguished economists, philosophers and other social scientists from across Europe and the USA, will appeal to academics and policymakers alike.


'The 34 essays in this book contain a mass of fascinating material into which anyone interested in Basic Income, whether in favour or against or agnostic, would do well to dip.' Samuel Brittan, —'Citizen's Income Newsletter'

'Highly Recommended: The unique breadth of positions expressed and the multidisciplinary nature of the arguments make this book unique' —'Choice'

Author Information

Guy Standing is Director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organization. He is Chairman of the Basic Income European Network (BIEN). He has written and edited numerous books, including 'Beyond the New Paternalism: Basic Security as Equality' (Verso, 2002) and 'Global Labour Flexibility: Seeking Distributive Justice' (Macmillan, 1999).


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Table of Contents

List of Figures; ;List of Tables; Introduction; Section 1. Basic Income as a Right: 1. About time: Basic Income Security as a Right; 2. How Basic Income is Moving up the Policy Agenda: News from the Future; 3. Can there be a Right to Basic Income?; 4. Wasteful Welfare Transactions: Why Basic Income Security in Fundamental; 5. Migration, Citizenship and Welfare State Reform in Europe: Overcoming Marginalization in Segregated Labour Markets; 6. The Liberal's Dilemma: Immigration, Social Solidarity and Basic Income; Section 2. Rationales for Basic Income: 7. The Psychological Rationale for Basic Income; 8. The Limits of Production: Justifying Guaranteed Basic Income; 9. Liberal and Marxist Justifications for Basic Income; 10. Basic Income, Commons and Commodities: The Public Domain Revisited; 11. 'Calling': A Christian Argument for Basic Income; 12. Social Credit as Economic Modernism: Seven Theses; 13. Deliberative Democracy and the Legitimacy of Basic Income; Section 3. Legitimizing Basic Income Politically: 14. Mobilizing Support for Basic Income; 15. A Legitimate Guaranteed Minimum Income; 16. Republicanism and Basic Income: The Articulation of the Public Sphere from the Repoliticization of the Private Sphere; 17. Working Poor in Europe: A Partial Basic Income for Workers; 18. Basic Income, Social Polarization and the Right to Work; 19. Popular Support for Basic Income in Sweden in Finland; 20. The Principle of Universalism: Tracing a Key Idea in the Scandinavian Welfare Model; 21. Women's Politics and Social Policy in Austria; 22. Bio-Economics, Labour Flexibility and Cognitive Work: Why not Basic Income; 23. Exploring Ways to Reconcile Flexible Employment with Social Protection; Section 4. Building Towards Basic Income: 24. On a Path to Just Distribution: The Caregiver Credit Campaign; 25. A Care-Worker Allowance for Germany; 26. Feminist Arguments in Favour of Welfare and Basic Income in Denmark; 27. Public Support for Basic Income Shemes and a Universal Right to Health Care: What the French People Think; 28. Activation of Minimum Income and Basic Income: History of a Comparison of Two Ideas; National and Regional Initiatives: 29. The Universal Grant and Income Support in Spain and the Basque Country; 30. The Impact of Basic Income on the Propensity to Work: Theoretical Gambles and Microeconometric Findings; 31. A Failure to Communicate: The Labour Market Findings of the Negative Income Tax Experiments and their Effects on Policy and Public Opinion; 32. Basic Income and the Means to Self-Govern; 33. The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend: An experiment in Wealth Distribution; 34. Social Citizenship and Workfare in the United States and Western Europe: From Status to Contract


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