Malcolm Torry will present his paper titled “Basic Income: A brief history of the idea”. Discussion will follow.


A Basic Income is ‘a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement’ (Basic Income Earth Network [BIEN]). It is always that: but within that definition there has been a significant number of variants during the past two centuries—in relation to how often, how much, to whom, and so on. This paper will explore those variants and the reasons for them, both historically and in the context of today’s lively global debate.

The paper will also discuss those tax and benefits policies that are sometimes regarded as variants of Basic Income but in fact are not, and will briefly outline their histories, their relevance to the history of ideas of Basic Income, and their relationship to the current debate.

The full paper is available here.

The forum will be held via zoom. All are welcome. For the link to zoom, please send email to:

The “Clarification of the Basic Income’s Definition” (CBID) working group is an official working group of BIEN established by the BIEN General Assembly 2019 held in Hyderabad, India. The 1st , 2nd , and 3rd open forums were held during BIEN Congress 2021 in Glasgow, the 4rd open forum was held in October 2021, and the 5th was held in April 2022.

About Toru Yamamori

has written 133 articles.

Toru Yamamori is a professor at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.