The social commons: reconciling social protection and the universal basic income

XIV JORNADAS DE ECONOMÍA CRÍTICA. Perspectivas económicas alternativas Valladolid, 4 y 5 de septiembre de 2014

Francine Mestrum, September 2014

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Summary :

Social protection is now being promoted by international organizations in order to further reduce poverty in developing countries whereas, in Northern countries, social protection is being dismantled. We are witnessing a paradigmatic change giving a new, neoliberal, meaning to social protection. Basic income is often proposed as an alternative, aimed at giving all individuals, unconditionally, an income that allows them to live in dignity. However, can citizenship be compatible with unconditional social benefits?

In this contribution, I analyze both proposals and I search for ways to combine them. This implies we re-think social protection, for the North as well as for the South, away from neoliberalism. Framed in terms of ‘social commons’, social protection could become a tool for systemic change, based on rights and inspired by the philosophy of ‘buen vivir’.

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