Policy Press

It's Basic Income

The Global Debate

Edited by Amy Downes and Stewart Lansley


Mar 14, 2018

Page count

256 pages




216 x 138 mm


Policy Press


Mar 14, 2018

Page count

256 pages





Policy Press


Mar 14, 2018

Page count

256 pages





Policy Press
It's Basic Income

Is a Universal Basic Income the answer to an increasingly precarious job landscape?

Could it bring greater financial freedom for women, tackle the issue of unpaid but essential work, cut poverty and promote greater choice? Or is it a dead-end utopian ideal that distracts from more practical and cost-effective solutions?

Contributors from musician Brian Eno, think tank Demos Helsinki, innovators such as California’s Y Combinator Research and prominent academics such as Peter Beresford OBE offer a variety of perspectives from across the globe on the politics and feasibility of basic income.

Sharing research and insights from a variety of nations – including India, Finland, Uganda, Brazil and Canada - the collection provides a comprehensive guide to the impact this innovative idea could have on work, welfare and inequality in the 21st century.

"A vital contribution and guide to the growing global debate about an idea that could promote social equity, enhance dignity and boost wellbeing for all citizens." Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Every so often, an idea bubbles up which becomes impossible to ignore. Downes and Lansley could not be more timely in curating this urgent conversation" Tom Clark, Editor, Prospect Magazine

"A superb forensic analysis of universal basic income schemes leaving no stone unturned." Malcolm Dean, former Guardian social policy editor

"An excellent overview of the basic income debate, recommended reading for anyone who wants to delve deeper into one of the most exciting ideas of our time." Rutger Bregman, author of Utopia for Realists

"This wide ranging and fascinating collection of essays makes an important contribution to the growing global debate about universal basic income as a key policy instrument to address 21st century challenges." Matthew Taylor, RSA

"An inclusive assessment that marries keen enthusiasm for UBI with fair-minded acknowledgement of its practical and political difficulties. This book will swiftly become the go-to source for all things UBI." David Walker, co-author of Unjust Rewards, contributing editor Guardian Public

"It's fantastic to have such a rich, multi-faceted book on the global basic income discussion. All the more welcome for not shying away from some of its harshest critics." Barb Jacobson, Basic Income UK

"Dispels the gloom and sets out the foundations for a better future: read it, get behind it and make it happen!" Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level

"This book offers many fresh and stimulating perspectives on basic income. It challenges us to rethink the future of our societies." Johanna Perkiö, University of Tampere, Finland

"Changes to the nature of work means that innovative thinking is urgently needed and the idea of a universal basic income has to be explored. A vital read." Helena Kennedy QC

Stewart Lansley is a visiting fellow at the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol and at London's City University and the author of A Sharing Economy, Policy Press, 2016 and Breadline Britain, Oneworld (with Jo Mack), 2015.

Amy Downes is the Co-founder of Work till Late design studio and communications consultancy. Her interest in the topic of Basic Income stems from her time studying philosophy and social justice and welfare.

Introduction ~ Amy Downes and Stewart Lansley;

Part I: The case for;

As artificial intelligence and robotics advance, a basic income may be the only viable solution ~ Martin Ford;

Could a universal basic income become the basis for working better in a fast-changing world? ~ Eduardo Rodriguez;

An economic shock absorber ~ Chris Oestereich;

Questioning the natural order ~ Brian Eno;

To keep music alive ~ Toby Deller;

Feminist Reflections on basic income ~ Ursula Barry;

Women, motherhood and care ~ Vanessa Olorenshaw;

My own private basic income ~ Karl Widerquist;

Coming off the fence on UBI ~ Ruth Lister;

Part II: Towards tomorrow’s society;

A new politics ~ Anthony Painter, Royal Society of Arts;

UBI for the post-industrial age ~ Roope Mokka and Katariina Rantanen, Demos Helsinki;

A down payment on a new, cooperative economy ~ Avi Lewis and Katie McKenna, Leap Manifesto;

Basic income: a solution to which challenge ~ Brenton Caffin, Nesta, UK;

What we talk about when we talk about work ~ Olivia Hanks, Norwich Radical;

It’s time to stop tinkering ~ Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas, UK Green Party;

How I learnt to stop worrying and love basic income ~ Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour;

Trust trumps control ~ Uffe Elbæk, Alternativet, Denmark;

Part III: Dissenting voices;

Why basic income can never be a progressive solution ~ Francine Mestrum;

A powerful tax engine pulling a tiny cart ~ Ian Gough;

A Basic Income and the Democratisation of Social Policy ~ Peter Beresford OBE;

Why a basic income is not good enough ~ Ed Whitfield;

Unconditional basic income is a dead end ~ Anke Hassel;

Part IV: Approaches to implementation;

Basic income and social democracy ~ Philippe van Parijs;

History and the contemporary UK debate ~ Malcolm Torry, Citizen’s Income Trust;

Basic income and the democratisation of development in Europe ~ Louise Haagh;

The Indian experience: The debt trap ~ Sarath Davala;

The Indian experience: The impact on women and girls ~ Soumya Kapoor;

A Scottish pilot ~ Annie Miller;

The libertarian case for UBI ~ Matt Zwolinski;

For us all: redesigning social security for the 2020s ~ Andrew Harrop;

Making UBI work: the incremental approach ~ Stewart Lansley and Howard Reed;

Part V: Year of the trials;

An earthquake in Finland ~ Otto Lehto;

Growing a movement: the Canadian context ~ Roderick Benns and Jenna van Draanen;

The post social democratic pathway for the 21st Century; The Dutch example ~ Alexander de Roo;

The California Experiment ~ Elizabeth Rhodes, Y Combinator, USA;

‘Eight’:The Ugandan pilot ~ Steven Janssens, Belgium;

The Kenyan experiment ~ Give Directly;

Brazil: a basic income experiment as a citizen-to-citizen project ~ Bruna Augusto and Marcus Brancaglione;

Part VI: The way forward;

Building momentum ~ Amy Downes and Stewart Lansley.