Public Lecture and Debate: „Justice, Democracy and the Unconditional Basic Income“

Speaker: Philippe Van Parijs (Université Catholique de Louvain)
Discussant: Reiner Reichenberger (UniFR)
Moderator: Philipp Löpfe (Wirtschaftsjournalist)
Thursday, 18 February 2016, 18.30h

On the 5th of June 2016 the Swiss citizens will be the first population to vote on the unconditional basic income („bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen“). The concept of the unconditional basic income is both radical and simple. It puts our common understanding of wages and work on its head – and presumably grants freedom for all. This freedom can, in turn, possibly be an important means to strengthen democratic participation in an age of increasing inequality and decreasing or generally low voter turnout. But is it feasible and financeable?

In this public lecture, the renowned political philosopher Philippe Van Parijs will analyze and discuss (in English) the relationships between an unconditional basic income, justice and demcoracy. Van Parijs' presentation will be followed by a critical comment and discussion with the economist Reiner Eichenberger. The floor will then be opened for questions from the audience. The event will be moderated by the journalist Philipp Löpfe.

Philippe Van Paris is philosopher and political economist and has strongly influenced both the academic and public debate on the unconditional basic income for years. He co-founded the Basic Income Earth Network in 1986. He is professor at the Faculty of economic, social and political sciences of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), where he directs the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics. He was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University's Department of Philosophy from 2004 to 2011 and is a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, since 2011.

Reiner Eichenberger is director of the Department of Finance at the University Fribourg. Philipp Löpfe is an economic journalist and previous chief editor of the Tages-Anzeiger.

The public event is part of the event series “Democracy: Bridging facts and norms” by the DemocracyNet.eu, NCCR Democracy, Zentrum Demokratie Aarau and is co-organized with Institut Zukunft. The event is funded by the UZH Graduate Campus.

Date: Thursday 18 February 2016
Time: 18:30 – 20:00
Place: University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 71, room KOH-B-10