WEF_FABI

The protective function of a UBI against ecological and social vulnerability
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus & Foreign Aid Basic Income Team (WEF_FABI) is investigating to what extent the introduction of a UBI can contribute to strengthening the resilience of social and ecological systems in developing countries. WEF_FABI will investigate, for instance, how communities threatened by land grabbing and climate damage (deforestation, resource exploitation) could be protected from ecological and social vulnerability by the introduction of a UBI. The goal is therefore to better understand the interdependencies between the WEF nexus and the UBI.

The UBI as an instrument of development aid
By introducing a UBI, communities shall become so resilient that they no longer need to have their basic income externally financed in the long run (FABI), but become able to finance it on their own tax bases (self-financed UBI). FABI (cf. Bernhard Neumärker’s concept of “Foreign Aid Basic Income”) then has the effect of a cash-oriented development aid. It will therefore be examined to what extent a basic income can be used as an effective instrument of development aid and what requirements such a context of application places on a basic income mechanism.

WEF_FABI received start-up funding from the FRIAS
WEF_FABI received start-up funding from FRIAS (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies), which is designed, among other things, to promote and internationalize cutting-edge research at the University of Freiburg.

Research Team

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker
is head of FRIBIS, professor of Economic Policy (Götz Werner Chair) and director of the Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory at the University of Freiburg. Apart from that, he is also founder of the Basic Income Research Group (BIRG) at Freiburg University. He has been working for many years on questions of social justice, social conflict and state reform from a constitutional perspective. Recently, he has been applying his concepts of “New Ordoliberalism” (recently also called “Progressive Ordoliberalism”) and “Social Sustainability”, which are based on these questions, to the UBI. His contribution to the Water-Energy-Food [WEF] and Foreign-Aid-Basic-Income [FABI] team lies in linking environmental and social sustainability through the implementation of an equitable, sustainable, and resilient social development contract. To this end, he and his team will examine experiments with social FABI contracts in Namibia. The main objective is to find an appropriate governance structure for FABI.

Prof. Dr. Michael Jacobson
is a professor of forest resources in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University (USA). He carries out extension, research and teaching programs that promote sustainable management of forests and other natural resources. Core activities and interests include forest economics and finance, agroforestry, bioenergy and water-energy-food nexus. He has a significant presence in international activities and teaches forest economics, international forestry, and agroforestry.

Prof. Dr. Reinhart Kössler
is a sociologist and former director of the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg (2013-15), where he was also professor at the Seminar for Scientific Politics from 2012 onwards. He now lives in Berlin and is retired, but remains politically active. He was a founding member and editorial board member of PERIPHERIE. Zeitschrift für Politik und Ökonomie der dritten Welt (since 1980). His areas of interest include social and development theory, political sociology, ethnicity, politics of memory, and sociology of labor; his regional focus is southern Africa. In 2015, he published the monograph Namibia and Germany. Negotiating the Past. 

Dr. Elina David-Teodol
is a Junior Lecturer at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and a professional real estate valuer. She is equipped with extensive experience in property valuation of all property classes. Currently she is pursuing a Master’s degree in the application of data science and machine learning in real estate, offered virtually by PropertyQuants (Philadelphia, USA). Her research focuses on the valuation of Compulsory Acquisition in both urban and communal areas, social issues in Urban and Communal areas, and land governance. From 2011 to 2019, she supported and coordinated the Namibian Institute of Valuers as Secretary General. In 2011, she co-hosted the African Real Estate Society (AfRES) conference. Elina David-Teodol lives in Windhoek, Namibia.

Tobias Jäger
studied economics at the University of Freiburg and is the coordinator of the “Basic Income for Peacebuilding” (BIP) team. In his dissertation, he is working on UBI in developing countries. His focus is on the impact that the introduction of a basic income could have from a conflict-economics perspective.

Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Ransom
Trained as a sociologist, Elizabeth Ransom conducts research at the intersection of agriculture, globalization, and development. Much of her research has occurred in Southern and Eastern Africa, focusing extensively on livestock production systems, in addition to work in the United States and Australia. She has focused on gender and women’s empowerment, the impact of science and technology on our food system, and, more recently, agri-food change in the context of climate change and disasters.

Transfer Team

Elizaveta Fouksman
is a Lecturer (equiv. Assistant Professor) in Social Justice at the Centre for Public Policy Research at King’s College London. She is also a research associate of the University of Oxford and the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds a doctorate in International Development from the University of Oxford, and has held research fellowships the University of Oxford, Harvard University and the University of the Witwatersrand. Liz’s research focuses on the ways the long-term unemployed in countries with high inequality and unemployment rates think about links between time-use, work, and income. Much of her fieldwork in South Africa and Namibia asks how such links challenge both proposals to expand social protection through means such as unconditional cash transfers, as well as more radical calls for the decommodification of labor via mechanisms such as a universal basic income guarantee and/or shorter working hours.

Rejitha Nair
is a Lawyer, Researcher and Human Rights Trainer from Gujarat, India. She is a Doctoral candidate at National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), University of Law, Hyderabad and has worked as an Assistant Professor for over six years, teaching human rights and legal theory at Nirma University, Ahmedabad. Her interest lies in understanding the relationship between legal institutions and poverty, focusing majorly on Social Welfare Legislations and Land Laws. In her thesis she is examining whether the law and processes governing technology enabled Direct Benefit transfers in India are tools for empowerment or instruments for exclusion. 

Dr. Sarath Davala
is a Lawyer, Researcher and Human Rights Trainer from Gujarat, India. She is a Doctoral candidate at National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), University of Law, Hyderabad and has worked as an Assistant Professor for over six years, teaching human rights and legal theory at Nirma University, Ahmedabad. Her interest lies in understanding the relationship between legal institutions and poverty, focusing majorly on Social Welfare Legislations and Land Laws. In her thesis she is examining whether the law and processes governing technology enabled Direct Benefit transfers in India are tools for empowerment or instruments for exclusion. 

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