Beyond Jobs vs Environment: On the Potential of Universal Basic Income to Reconfigure Environmental Politics
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The tension between creating jobs and protecting the environment remains central to contemporary environmental politics. Critical scholars have reworked the “jobs vs the environment” problematique, but how people will secure livelihoods in various imagined futures remains unclear. We demonstrate how a Universal Basic Income (UBI) that enacts a revitalised politics of redistribution, in conjunction with an active state, has the potential to rupture the link between employment and income. We suggest that such a UBI is complementary to various postcapitalist politics that fundamentally reorganise relationships between people, ecology, and labour. Further, such a UBI can enable the cultivation of new economic subjectivities, as well as the time needed for greater democratic engagement. Where radical environmental politics often configure a fearful agent of change, motivated by a dystopian imaginaries, we propose new radical visions for socioecological futures in which people have time for leisure, community, and democratic participation.
CitationLawhon, M. and McCreary, T. (2020), Beyond Jobs vs Environment: On the Potential of Universal Basic Income to Reconfigure Environmental Politics. Antipode, 52: 452-474. https://doi.org/10.1111/anti.12604
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- Livelihoods