Since May 2016, the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at the University of Bath has been conducting an ongoing project investigating the design, effects, and implementation of different universal basic income proposals for the UK.

The project, Examining the Case for a Basic Income, includes a series of lectures, workshops, and other events. Its most recent event was a public lecture by Citizen’s Income Trust Director Malcolm Torry on the state of the basic income debate.   

The next event associated with the project, which will take place on Tuesday, December 13, is an academic-oriented workshop led by IPR Research Associate Luke Martinelli and Visiting Policy Fellow Jurgen De Wispelaere (also Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tampere). The goal of Tuesday’s workshop, Basic Income and the European Welfare State, is to “situate the feasibility and institutional ‘fit’ of different basic income schemes within the literatures of the comparative welfare state and comparative social policy”.

Taking as a starting point that European welfare states face common and diverse challenges (in terms of labour market, demographic and social changes that lead to new profiles of poverty and insecurity, for example), the aim of the session will be to consider the ways in which these challenges present both opportunities and difficulties for basic income as a policy solution, how these vary from country to country, and how different ‘varieties’ of basic income arise when we consider the political and institutional feasibility of schemes in specific contexts.

In addition to a presentation by Martinelli and De Wispelaere, the event will feature a talk by BIEN Co-Chair Louise Haagh (University of York), entitled “Basic Income, Welfare States and Institutional Change: Insights from Europe”, and a roundtable discussion highlighting the different perspectives on welfare state from five different countries. Roundtable participants include Haagh, representing Denmark; Fran Bennet (University of Oxford), representing the UK; Loek Groot (University of Utrecht), representing the Netherlands; Pertti Koistinen (University of Tampere), representing Finland; Jose A. Noguera (Autonomous University of Barcelona), representing Spain.

Each session will include a period of open discussion with the audience, which is expected to consist of academics with research interests or expertise in comparative welfare states.

Details about the Basic Income and the European Welfare State workshop are available here:

The IPR’s Examining the Case for a Basic Income project is planning more events for the future, as well as a release of papers for public distribution in spring 2017.

Photo CC BY-NC 2.0 Shawn Harquail