Basic Income
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Basic Income

A History

9781839102400 Edward Elgar Publishing
Malcolm Torry, Visiting Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, Treasurer, Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), formerly Director, Citizen’s Basic Income Trust and Senior Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics, UK. He is a priest in the Church of England and is now Priest in Charge of St Mary Abchurch in the City of London
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 83910 240 0 Extent: 336 pp
Presenting a truly comprehensive history of Basic Income, Malcolm Torry explores the evolution of the concept of a regular unconditional income for every individual, as well as examining other types of income as they relate to its history. Examining the beginnings of the modern debate at the end of the eighteenth century right up to the current global discussion, this book draws on a vast array of original historical sources and serves as both an in-depth study of, and introduction to, Basic Income and its history.

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Presenting a truly comprehensive history of Basic Income, Malcolm Torry explores the evolution of the concept of a regular unconditional income for every individual, as well as examining other types of income as they relate to its history. Examining the beginnings of the modern debate at the end of the eighteenth century right up to the current global discussion, this book draws on a vast array of original historical sources and serves as both an in-depth study of, and introduction to, Basic Income and its history.

Commencing with Thomas Paine’s advocacy for Basic Capital and Thomas Spence’s for a Basic Income, Torry analyses thought from a variety of authors during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explores the widespread debate across Europe from the 1980s to the present day. Chapters further investigate a terminologically diverse debate in Canada and the USA and highlight the significance of recent research on feasibility in the UK.

Concluding with a study of the anatomy of what is now a single global debate about Basic Income, this book will be of value to policy makers, students and scholars of Basic Income, social and economic history, and the economics of social policy.
Critical Acclaim
‘Torry’s monograph should become a must-read for social policy makers and social legislators, as well as for politicians at all levels, students in many humanities disciplines, and scholars. The book is both very informative and readable, and I believe it could be produced in further, expanded editions.’
– Kristina Koldinská, European Journal of Social Security

‘This book is undoubtedly a valuable reference resource, since it draws together commentaries from a variety of secondary resources and gathers in one place summaries of historically significant philosophical arguments, policy proposals and studies. It offers a guide through the bewildering twists, turns and inflections in the terminologies these have entailed, but it also reveals the ways in which the position of some key thinkers has shifted over time and in which shifts in perspective can result in a Gestalt switch in perception.’
– Hartley Dean, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities

‘Malcolm Torry has produced the first and only comprehensive history of Basic Income from the historical origins of the idea to the growing movement around it today.’
– Karl Widerquist, Georgetown University-Qatar

‘An extremely well informed account of the many modest origins and recent worldwide dissemination of the idea of Basic Income, and in particular of the role played by British thinkers and activists.’
– Philippe Van Parijs, University of Louvain, Belgium and Basic Income Earth Network

‘As Basic Income moves up the political agenda, the need to understand the history of the idea has never been more pressing. Malcolm Torry's wide-ranging study draws on a lifetime of research and will be an invaluable contribution to the growing literature on the subject.’
– Peter Sloman, University of Cambridge, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. A history of Basic Income 2. Who thought of Basic Income first? 3. Basic Income during the nineteenth century 4. Basic Income in the United Kingdom during the early twentieth century 5. Basic Income during the mid-twentieth century in the United Kingdom 6. Basic Income and diversity in Canada and the USA 7. Basic Income, research and feasibility in Great Britain and Ireland 8. Multiple approaches to Basic Income in continental Europe 9. A worldwide Basic Income debate 10. A global Basic Income debate 11. Conclusions: where now for Basic Income? Bibliography Index
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