The past three decades have seen the elaboration of a vast body of literature on universal basic income – a policy proposal Philippe Van Parijs referred to as a “disarmingly simple idea”. It consists of a monthly cash allowance given to all citizens, regardless of personal desert and without means-test. Basic income studies are an example of successful interdisciplinary research, involving philosophers, economists and sociologists, among many others. Basic income (BI) proponents have identified, evaluated and deconstructed many potential and actual objections against this radical proposal. Yet for young scholars interested in, but new to, basic income, the field might seem crowded and overwhelming. This conference aims to look into the future of basic income research: Which questions have been left unanswered, which questions should be posed? What should be on the research agenda for the next 10 years?

Philosophers have lent their support to the basic income proposal from many different perspectives. BI can be defended with republican, libertarian, social-democratic, liberal egalitarian or communist arguments. One guiding question for philosophers working on basic income is hence: What can philosophers still do for basic income?

Moving away from purely normative justifications, there has been an increasing attention to topics at the intersection of philosophy and economics within the literature. This might be prompted by the frequent demand to demonstrate the economic feasibility of BI: “How can we possibly afford a basic income?” In our conference, we want to assess how this shift might affect the basic income research agenda. Will philosophers be drawn more and more into methodological and public policy scholarship and debates? How will philosophers be able to judge whether policy proposals fulfil criteria of economic feasibility?

A continuous theme in basic income research has been the political feasibility of BI. Increasingly, basic income scholars have become politically organized and involved in policy debates. What is the consequence of Basic Income activism for BI research?

The link to register for the event:




This event is sponsored by a Young Scholar Event Grant of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, The EUI Max Weber Programme, the Robert Schuman Center, as well as EUI Professors Bauböck, Abraham, Bernardi, Micklitz, and Hoekman.

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