Public Lecture by Jurgen De Wispelaere: What (If Anything) Can we Learn from Piloting Basic Income Experiments?

The Centre for Sustainable Business at SSE Riga invites you to a public lecture by Jurgen De Wispelaere on April 7th, 2017.

15:00 - 17:00 Friday 07/04/2017

SSE Riga, Strelnieku 4a, Room 407
Open workshop by Jurgen De Wispelaere:
'What (If Anything) Can we Learn from Piloting Basic Income Experiments?'
Across Europe (and beyond) the interest in basic income has surged in recent years. Countries as diverse as Finland, Netherlands, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal and the UK are conducting, preparing or discussing the possibility of piloting a basic income experiment. Basic income experiments past and present are proving to be quite controversial. Those engaged in preparing pilots or experiments are running into numerous legal, practical and political obstacles, often requiring compromising on the initial research design. These compromises in design in turn affect the expected results, with critics on all sides of the debate moving to denounce the proposed experiments.
In this talk I review the current state of affairs across Europe, focusing on several countries with advanced plans for piloting a basic income scheme. I will discuss the type of objections basic income pilots face and how addressing these objections compromises on ideal research and policy design. In contrast to many critics, however, I will argue that even the seriously reduced basic income pilots nevertheless offer critical insights in understanding how basic income works in practice and play an important role in the policy process

Jurgen De Wispelaere is a former occupational therapist turned political theorist and public policy scholar. He is a Policy Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research (University of Bath) and holds an ISRF Political Economy Fellowship funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF). In 2016 we was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tampere (Finland), and in this capacity formed part of the Kela-led research team preparing the upcoming national basic income experiment in Finland. His major research interest is the political analysis of basic income, including most recently a focus on the role of basic income experiments in policy development and how basic income can be integrated in mature welfare states. Jurgen De Wispelaere has published extensively on basic income in leading international journals, including most recently The Political Quarterly, Journal of Social Policy, Journal of Public Policy, Politics, Political Studies, International Social Security Review and Social Service Review, as well as specialist edited volumes. He is a founding co-editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, co-edited Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research (Wiley 2013) and with Louise Haagh is preparing a themed issue on basic income and the European welfare state for Social Policy and Society.

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