Version 3.2

Securing human needs through Universal Basic Services: creating political support for degrowth?

Failure to meet human needs and exceeding the environmental boundaries push to recognise that current welfare states have to rethink how to stay between the social floor and environmental ceiling. Alternative models have been proposed, but ambitious projects such as transitioning to a degrowth society where public services could be guaranteed seem to be far from being socially and politically feasible in the current context. In this presentation, which is based on my ongoing PhD dissertation, I discuss the potential of universal basic services (UBS) for creating political support for degrowth transformation. I investigate public services from the perspective of human needs theory and traditional welfare state research to shed light on how the context in which public services were implemented in traditional welfare states differs from the sustainable welfare framework in which UBS is argued to hold potential. Indeed, human needs theory is often discussed together with the degrowth literature given the common points on considering what is essential for wellbeing. Bridging it to the discussion on UBS brings a new conceptual perspective on a much-discussed policy option. In the end, I suggest that securing human needs through policy options such as UBS could represent an opportunity to create a society prone to accept what is now considered too “radical” political moves needed for transitioning to a degrowth world.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:45
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-3
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Degrowth as a political project?


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