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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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Freedom, exit and basic income

Freedom, exit and basic income

(p.307) 14 Freedom, exit and basic income
Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare States

Stuart White

Policy Press

According to a ‘republican’ argument, universal basic income increases workers' power to exit employment and so allegedly reduces workers’ vulnerability to domination from this source. However, critics argue that a basic income will have limited impact on exit power, especially if set at a modest level, and that employer domination is anyway built into standard labour contracts independently of workers’ exit power. This chapter acknowledges these criticisms, but argues that we can rescue a republican argument for basic income if we refine it so that it attends to some important but neglected distinctions: between mitigating, reducing and eliminating domination; between a basic income helping, being necessary to, or sufficient for, one or more of these effects; and by recalling that the potential impact of basic income on domination applies not just in the workplace but in other contexts such as the family and in relation to welfare bureaucracy.

Keywords:   Basic income, Freedom, Non-domination, Republicanism, Exit power

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