working papers

Available upon request

“‘Post-work’ social citizenship”

Abstract: In acknowledgement of its manifold social pathologies, a growing number of scholars and activists are arguing for the need to ‘decentre’ work by breaking the connection between work and income. This would require guaranteeing universally a free-standing source of income to all. Suggestions along these lines, however, appear quite quickly to find themselves at an impasse. For a universal basic income (UBI) is commonly seen as an essential threat to the normative underpinnings of the politico-economic order that would be tasked with providing it, the welfare state. In this article, I attempt to assuage this worry about UBI. In doing so, I defend a particular version of UBI, one that combines universal basic income with reintroducing mandatory schemes of civic service. Contra widespread scepticism regarding the compatibility of UBI and the conception of justice undergirding our existing politico-economic order, I argue that this combination has the potential better to realise the deep normative underpinnings of the welfare state than our current regime.

“Reasons to care: On the maldistribution and devaluation of care-work and what to do about it”

Abstract: We are often told that we are soon approaching a crisis of care. How can this be when at the same time caring is acknowledged to be a meaningful social engagement? According to conventional wisdom, the care-deficit is a result of a devaluation of care-work. On this view, we need better support for carers. I argue that an equally important part of the explanation is that care has historically been assigned to marginalised populations; women and racialised others. Its maldistribution must be understood as a consequence but also a cause of its undervaluation. Attempts at dealing with the undervaluation of care that do not address the ideological division of care labour could in fact reinforce its maldistribution, thereby undermining the attempt to raise its esteem. To organise the collective responsibility for care in a way which would both more fairly distribute its burdens and recognise the value of caretaking, we must disrupt its social coding. I propose that a civic caring service is uniquely suited to achieve this.

“A right to break the law? On the political function and moral grounds of civil disobedience”

Abstract: This article addresses the relation between one’s conception of the political function of civil disobedience and its moral grounds. Do citizens of liberal democratic states have a moral right to engage in civil disobedience? Famously, Joseph Raz argued that there cannot be a moral right to civil disobedience. But his argument rests on the assumption of a particular model of civil disobedience, a model according to which the purpose of civil disobedience is to protest and prevent particularly egregious violations of justice. On another model, where civil disobedience is performed to identify and counterbalance democratic deficits, there must be a right to civil disobedience. This meta-theoretical relation between political function and moral grounds has important implications for political actors and activists. Whilst theorists of civil disobedience, who commonly write in solidarity with protesters, tend to want to be able to defend the performance of civil disobedience as the exercise of a moral right, the connection between moral grounds and political function should have them think more carefully about the self-understanding to which this commits protesters.