Monday, October 7, 2024, 1:00 PM to Wednesday, October 9, 2024, 3:30 PM CEST


Towards the development of a full UBI? Perspectives on partial approaches in different welfare systems

In academic and political discourse models of a basic income are predominantly discussed as unconditional, universalistic and subsistence-providing. However, such extensive UBI models conflict with the existing architecture of welfare state arrangements, often leading to considerable friction in the political implementation of a basic income. At the FRIBIS Annual Conference 2024, we will therefore focus specifically on models of a partial basic income, against the background of their implementability in various welfare state systems. The analysis of feasible designs of partial basic income aims to show pathways to advocate for the idea of an unconditional basic income politically. FRIBIS is particularly interested in contributions to the topics of social security/social protection floors, sustainability as well as issues in an international context. The following questions are at the forefront:

  • Are partial models the path to a comprehensive, unconditional basic income? What are the strengths and weaknesses of a partial approach?
  • What insights into partial designs and unconditionality can be drawn from UBI experiments and pilot projects?
  • Which methods are particularly suitable for analysing a basic income and its potential impacts in partial models and policies?

Stream 1: UBI as Social Security and/or Social Protection Floor

Social security is a controversial topic in the political welfare state discourse. There is a societal consensus that a modern welfare state must provide a certain minimum security (social protection floor) for all members of society. However, the amount and specific design of these state benefits is contentious. While some social security systems have a high degree of conditionality in benefit provision, others provide at least some of their benefits largely unconditionally. The following questions are addressed against this background.

  • What is the relationship between the conditionality of benefit provision and that of concentrating benefits on vulnerable groups?
  • To what extent can currently practised social protection floors be further developed towards an unconditional basic income?
  • What position do social policies inspired by basic income take in the nexus of social security and welfare statehood?

Stream 2: UBI and Sustainability – Potentials and Risks of Joint Interpretations

Considering basic income and sustainability together is a divisive endeavour. While supporters emphasise the potential of both ideas coming together, critics mainly see risks in mixing the topics. In the context of advancing socio-ecological transformation, this stream seeks to examine strategies like climate dividends and carbon taxation, while also delving into associated inquiries regarding collective progress, such as:

  • Can basic income models that argue for social sustainability be linked to questions of ecological sustainability?
  • To what extent can UBI designs support welfare systems on the path towards socio-ecological transformation? And what are the limits of a joint path?
  • What contribution can scientific and activist elaborations on UBI, in partial and universal forms, make to future forecasts?

Stream 3: Global Perspectives – Inter- and Supranational Approaches of (Partial) UBI

Partial basic income models are also increasingly getting attention on a global level. Philippe van Parijs proposed an unconditional euro dividend ten years ago. But basic income models are also being discussed in development policy. The existence of various supra- and international models and initiatives for UBI reflects the broad potential for collaboration and coordination in promoting basic income policies and welfare statehood. Classical questions in this complex include:

  • How can basic income models take into account the diverse socio-economic contexts and cultural norms in different regions and countries?
  • What opportunities and risks do inter- and supranational proposals, such as a common European basic income, present?
  • What are the implications of supranational models of (partial) basic income for global economic stability and social cohesion and how can these models be politically implemented?

General Notes

FRIBIS is a university competence network that systematically brings together scientists and civil society actors on the topic of basic income to align societal bottom-up motivations and top-down expertise on basic income to promote them in political discourse. Accordingly, the FRIBIS Annual Conference addresses both target groups. The conference consists of a core part, with keynotes, plenary sessions, core conference panels and presentations from the respective core FRIBIS teams on a current central theme of the basic income discussion and an open conference part. Abstracts and full texts can be submitted for both and membership of FRIBIS is not required for this purpose.

Contributions from (young) scientists and activists of all genders, locations, and cultures are welcome. Abstracts and manuscripts for the open part of the conference can be submitted on all basic income topics, as individual papers and as organised sessions (workshops, roundtables). In the parallel sessions of the open conference, the FRIBIS teams not belonging to the core conference part will also present themselves. Each conference participant can propose contributions to a maximum of two categories (presentation, discussant, workshop, or roundtable organisation); a dual function in the same category is excluded. Please send your completed form with the required information to the FRIBIS conference team []. Further information on the individual formats and topic blocks can be found on the FRIBIS homepage. Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2024. The submissions will be selected by a programme committee. A decision from the committee can be expected soon.

The conference will be held in a hybrid format. Costs for travel and accommodation cannot be covered.

Call for Papers

Please use the form provided for your submissions and send your proposal to the email address above. While draft submissions will be accepted, completed papers are preferred. Contributions will be accepted in German and English. Receipt of the proposal will be confirmed after the end of the call for papers (30 June 2024). The decision on acceptance of a contribution will be made by the organisers and communicated to the authors soon afterwards. Please indicate whether you are eligible for the FRIBIS Best Paper Award for the best contribution presented by young scientists at the conference. (Only authors who received their doctoral degrees in May 2022, or later, or are in the process of obtaining them, are eligible for the award.) The winner will receive €1,000. In the case of multiple co-authors, the prize amount will be divided among the recipients.

Selected contributions to the core conference theme will be published in a conference volume of the FRIBIS series following review by the editors. Contributions intended for publication in the anthology may not have been published previously.

Call for Workshops

The FRIBIS workshops are open to activities of all kinds: artistic performances, open rounds of discussion, workshops with group work, and much more. The focus will be on the experimental testing of new concepts. Final results do not have to be produced but new ideas should have been developed. Please use the form for submission and send your proposal to the email address above. Receipt of the proposals will be confirmed following the end of the call (30 June 2024). The decision on acceptance of a workshop will be made promptly by the program committee and communicated to the workshop leaders immediately thereafter.

Conference Registration

We look forward to welcoming you to the FRIBIS Annual Conference. Registrations will be possible from 5 July onwards and should be made via the events page on the FRIBIS homepage.Participation if free of charge.