The Politics of Basic Income Public Talk Series

The contemporary politics of universal basic income (UBI) conjures up a paradox. The level, breadth and sophistication of policy attention afforded to UBI is as impressive as it has ever been, with organisations such as the IMF and World Bank engaging with its potential to transform social protection. Experiments and pilots have emerged all over the world in Finland, South Korea, Kenya, Brazil and cities all across the US, while movement building has grown at an impressive rate in many countries. Yet, in terms of tangible policy development, progress has often been slow or non-existent. The introduction of a nationwide UBI scheme still eludes us and many social security systems have seen increasing levels of conditionality and means-testing rather than steps in a more universal direction. It is the perfect time for a global stock-taking of the opportunities and challenges facing UBI advocates, reflecting on policy successes as well as failures, and to ask the important questions needed to develop strategic thinking for building (inter)national movements and getting policy wins.

Hosted by the Bath UBI Beacon and Freiburg Institute of Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) through their Experiments Team collaboration, this online seminar series invites people engaged in policy experimenting, movement building, research and activism from every corner of the globe to present their work and experience and reflect on what this means for the politics of basic income. Speakers cover topics as diverse as experimentation, legislative processes, managing the media, fundraising, coalition building, community outreach and public opinion. The seminars are open to all who have an interest in basic income and social policy more widely and will have a sizeable Q&A, allowing for discussion and debate. Seminars will be recorded and posted online afterwards.

Events will be scheduled for 90 mins and chaired alternately by Drs. Neil Howard and Joe Chrisp. If the event has a main speaker, presentations will last roughly 20 minutes followed by an hour of Q&A. For panels of 2-3 speakers, presentations will last 10 minutes each followed by an hour Q&A.

  • Oct 2023 #PayTheGrants: The Universal Basic Income Guarantee in South Africa.
  • Nov 2023 How to Grow a Movement: The Importance of Strategic Funding & the Case of the US.
  • Dec 2023 What has happened in Catalunya?
  • Feb 2024 The Case of Marica in Brazil.
  • Mar 2024 Basic Income and Reparations. Movement for Black Lives.
  • Apr 2024 Basic Income, De-Growth and Climate Politics.
  • May 2024 Emergency Basic Income: Distraction or Opportunity?
  • June 2024 UBI in Central and Eastern Europe: Attention, Strategies and Reforms

Planned upcoming events include:

  • International Aid and the Politics of Unconditional Cash.
  • UBI and UK Party Politics.
  • Identifying Public Support for Basic Income
  • The Case of India.
  • The Policy Impact of Basic Income Experiments.
  • The Case of Canada: Ontario, Climate Action Incentive Payment and COVID.
  • What Happened in Iran?
  • Welsh Pilot Results and Where from Here?
  • UBI and Trades Unions.

All talks take place at 4pm GMT on the third Thursday of the month at this Zoom link. Recordings are available here.

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