Blog Posts, Interviews and other News.

2017 – More basic income events at Stanford and a brand new website

The Stanford Basic income Lab organized two major events in Fall 2017. The first was a convening on the topic of Basic Income Experiments at the city level in the US.

32429613560_2162c28f31_z.jpgWe invited a group of city officials from throughout the country as well as researchers involved in experiments all over the world and fostered a productive conversation on what basic income city pilots could look like in the US. The second was a public talk by political theorist Almaz Zelleke on whether basic income can help us achieve a more gender equal society.

We now also have a brand new website. So check it out:

2017 – Our second event on Basic Income took place on April 12th 

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Philippe Van Parijs presented his new book, co-written with Yannick Vanderborght, in which the authors offer the most comprehensive defense of basic income, advocating it as our most realistic hope for addressing economic insecurity and social exclusion in the twenty-first century. You can see the pictures and video of the event here.


2017 – Boston Review publishes fantastic conversation on UBI

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17 years after the famous Boston Review discussion initiated by Philippe Van Parijs, the Boston Review hosted another discussion on universal basic income and its prospects in an unjust and growingly unequal society.

The featured article was by Brishen Rogers and the respondents included myself, Dorian Warren, Peter Barnes, Philippe van Parijs and may others. Check it out for a great introduction to the prospects and limitations of UBI in an unjust society.

2017 – Basic Income frenzy

There is a growing interest in UBI in the US.  I was interviewed for another podcasts: Upstream (episode 1 and episode 2). I was also interviewed by the student journal Stanford Politics. I was also asked to review Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborgth’s book on basic income for the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

2017 – Our first event on Basic Income took place on February 8th

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-25-43-pmWhat kind of basic income would work? What would people do with free cash? Would they stop working, would they work more, would they volunteer more? Under which condition (if any) can people thrive without a job? Would Basic Income cause inflation? Is it affordable? We invited Guy Standing to introduce some of the results of the Madhya Pradesh experiment in India, Joe Huston to describe the large Give Directly experiment in Kenya, and Elizabeth Rhodes to present the Y Combinator Research pilot study in Oakland.The full video is available here.

2017 – My class on basic income is featured in BIEN News

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 8.00.11 PM.pngMy Graduate class aims to introduce Graduate Students to the Philosophy of Unconditional Basic income. BI News wrote an article on this here. The seminar will analyze and critique basic income from multiple perspectives in political theory, including feminism, liberalism, republicanism, communism, and libertarianism.

2016 – Basic Income Podcast 

I was invited by Jim And Owen to talk about basic income for the new Universal Income Podcast. Check out their work here. I talk about basic income versus basic capital here.

2016 – White House Tech & Poverty Summit at Stanford

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 7.11.39 PM.pngYou can watch me introduce basic income and some of the experimental results of basic income pilots. I was sharing the floor with Sam Altman (Y Combinator), Chris Hughes (co-chair of the Economic Security Project), and Natalie Foster (Economic Security Project and New America).

2016 – The blog PEA soup features my paper Making-Sense of Age group Justice


Paul Bou-Habib starting off with a great critical précis.  David Axelssen (LSE), Paula Casal (Pompea Fabra), Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (Aarhus), Martin O’Neill (York) and Christian Schemmel (Manchester) and others then provided detailed comments.  Have a look at the discussion here and please feel free to leave comments too.

2016 – Yaoundé Conference on Utopias and Justice

The Yaoundé PhD Seminar is an international and interdisciplinary conference that has been in place since 2012. The aim of the conference is to create long-lasting relationships between academics from Africa and academics from elsewhere. This year, I helped Thierry Ngosso organize the Yaoundé seminar which took place on August 22nd-28th on the Campus d’Ekounou of the Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale. The topic was ‘Utopias and Justice’. In total, 11 PhD students from around the world (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania, UK, Austria, and Israel) participated. cameroonSix keynote speakers from throughout the world gave lectures that addressed the topic of ‘Utopias and Justice’: Holly Lawford Smith (University of Sheffield); Ajume Wingo (University of Colorado); Fabien Eboussi Boulaga (Terroirs); Martin Booms (University of Bonn); Beth Khan (University of Durham); Andreas Oberprantacher (University of Innsbruck).

2015 – First Basic Income Create-a-thon is a great success.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.38.16 PMNovember 13-15, 2015, San Francisco. A group of basic income supporters joined forces for the first ever basic income ‘create-a-thon’. Developers, artists, filmmakers, community organizers, educators and seasoned basic income activists worked side by side. My report for BIEN news here.

2015 – Six reasons why the UK parliament should have youth quotas.

Young people are disadvantaged economically yet DSC_0264politically marginalized and demonized. Are youth quotas in parliament part of the answer? See my response on the OpenDemocracy and Politics in Spires blogs.

2015 – Universal Basic Income: treading the ‘capitalist road to communism’?

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.45.00 PMPhilippe Van Parijs calls UBI the ‘capitalist road to communism’; it swims with the tide of capitalism to get us somewhere else. But because it empowers individuals in general and workers in particular, and increases their bargaining powers, UBI can also be seen as the socialist road out of capitalism. Read the interview of Robert Lepenies and I for EUI news here.

2015 – The Future of Basic Income Research Conference.

19293720831_9341a44ea8_zOn June 26-27 of 2015, Robert Lepenies and I organized a conference at the European University Institute exclusively on the topic of Basic Income. Over 30 speakers presented their work on basic income including Yannick Vanderborgth, Louise Haagh, Anca Gheauz, Karl Widerquist, Philippe Van PArijs and many others. The topics discussed included: the future of basic income research; basic income in Germany, Portugal, Japan, Brazil, Switzerland; the feasibility of basic income; basic income and anti-capitalism; basic income and development; basic income experiments; basic income and global justice. The event was funded by the Max Weber Programme at the EUI and by the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Find the full conference programme here and more pictures here.

2013 – Rediscovering the Utopian in Europe: An Interview with Philippe Van Parijs.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.47.00 PMDescribed by Amartya Sen as “one of the most original and creative thinkers of our time,” Philippe Van Parijs is famous for his defense of a Universal Basic Income – an unconditional monthly grant allocated to all – as the best expression of social justice and freedom. Building on the thought-provoking exchange between Francis Fukuyama and Jürgen Habermas published in May, this special extended interview challenges us to imagine a fairer future for the European project. Read my interview here.