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Basic Income and Democratisation

March 5, 2019 @ 19:00

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Seven Arts Leeds
31A Harrogate Road
Leeds, LS7 3PD United Kingdom
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With Dr Louise Haagh, Reader in Politics, University of York, Chair of BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network)


Louise Haagh researches and writes about problems relating to the democratisation of human development, economic justice, modalities of institutional change, and social transformation. Louise is also known for her advocacy for a broader humanist, democratic defence of basic income that sets this reform in the context of a human development perspective on freedom and the problem of democratisation of the public sphere. She has three books forthcoming with Palgrave, Polity, and Routledge on this topic.

Louise Haagh obtained her doctorate in Politics from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, and held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at St. Antony’s from 1998 till 2001. In 2001 she took up a lectureship at the Politics Department of the University of York where she is now a Reader.

Louise has conducted a series of surveys on the function of developmental institutions and on sources of human motivation in the context of different welfare systems. Her comparative empirical work has focussed on labour market institutions, welfare systems and developmental transformation in developing and mature economies, including Chile, South Korea, Brazil, Nordic states and the Anglo-liberal economies, primarily Britain.

Since 2014 she has been the co-chair elect of the international registered charity, Basic income Earth Network. She is active in forging public debate between actors interested in basic income, including political parties and the union movement, as exemplified in this public debate between Louise Haagh acting as Chair of BIEN, the Danish LO, and Member of Parliament for the Alternative and Shadow Spokesperson for employment and social affairs, Torsten Gejl.

Her recent work focusses on drawing out a different account of varieties of capitalism in terms of the role of public sector development, institutional change and democratisation, as exemplified in Policy and PoliticsPolity, and Basic Income Studies.

Louise Haagh has also undertaken work under the auspices of several international organisations and public bodies, including the World Bank Social Protection Department, The Council of Europe, The Korean Labor Institute, The World Bank Social Development Department, The Organisation of American States, the International Labour Organisation, and the Canadian Council of Welfare, among others.


Louise Haagh will talk about how her account of basic income differs from mainstream polemics about this topic. In her take, basic income represents broader development and governance challenges societies face today as a counterweight to the destabilising impacts of contemporary globalisation. Basic income will help address key inequalities, but not on its own. In her talk Louise will also explain how basic income entails different challenges depending on the type of capitalist system, comparing the Nordic and Anglo-liberal countries.

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