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Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare StatesLegal, Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives on Justice and Domination$
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Anja Eleveld, Thomas Kampen, and Josien Arts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340010

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340010.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Workfare’s persistent philosophical and legal issues: forced labour, reciprocity and a basic income guarantee

Workfare’s persistent philosophical and legal issues: forced labour, reciprocity and a basic income guarantee

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 Workfare’s persistent philosophical and legal issues: forced labour, reciprocity and a basic income guarantee
Source:
Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare States
Author(s):

Amir Paz-Fuchs

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447340010.003.0002

This chapter addresses four persistent legal and philosophical issues that imbue workfare, albeit usually not explicitly. First, forced labour is a relatively common charge against workfare. If workfare is tantamount to forced labour, it cannot be justified, legally or morally. But to what extent do we truly object to forcing people to work? Second, the chapter asks what is unique about requiring people to work? Third, we address reciprocity, probably the most persuasive, most common, and most controversial argument in justifying workfare. And finally, the chapter addresses Basic Income Guarantee, which is the mirror image of forced labour: If forced labour is the epitome of the ills of capitalism, basic income is the tool to save capitalism from itself. If forced labour is the charge, basic income is the (perceived) solution. But it also addresses the problems of conditionality. For if Basic Income is not only plausible, but morally justified, it offers a strong argument against conditioning benefits on work.

Keywords:   Workfare, Forced labour, Duty to work, Reciprocity, Basic Income Guarantee

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