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Rawlsian Stability and Basic Income


  • Midtgaard Søren F.

    (Aarhus University)


This article assesses Van Parijs's proposal for an unconditional universal basic income according to the Rawlsian criterion of stabilitya criterion Van Parijs arguably shares. First, I examine a number of stability-generating features of conceptions of justice that pertain to their scope and content. Second, I evaluate these features relative to an unconditional versus a conditional scheme, and argue that they favour the latter. Third, I rebut four central objections to the core argument. Although the unconditional scheme may emerge as the winner, all things considered, introducing the factor of stability or sustainability nevertheless deepens our understanding of the nature and justifiability of the basic income proposal.

Suggested Citation

  • Midtgaard Søren F., 2008. "Rawlsian Stability and Basic Income," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-17, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bistud:v:3:y:2008:i:2:n:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. White Stuart, 2006. "Reconsidering the Exploitation Objection to Basic Income," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-17, December.
    2. Philippe Van Parijs, 1997. "Reciprocity and the Justification of an Unconditional Basic Income. Reply to Stuart White," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 45(2), pages 327-330, June.
    3. ., 1999. "International Integration: Theory and Practice," Chapters,in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Stuart White, 1997. "Liberal Equality, Exploitation, and the Case for an Unconditional Basic Income," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 45(2), pages 312-326, June.
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