Welfare-as-freedom, the human economy and varieties of capitalist state

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This contribution advocates a political economy perspective on systems of well-being. I argue deeper regulatory features of human economy give rise to common institutions in areas such as education, work and care, and that the constraints this imposes on governance explains how a more egalitarian form of public sector development is a key factor in gender equality, control of core human activities, and forms of time. A systems approach to well-being critically engages freedom-focussed perspectives on welfare and the proposal for a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which has received public traction since 2016. Identifying the systemic foundations for wellbeing as control within core human activities and social relations suggests UBI should be seen as an important but insufficient element of systems of well-being. To depict patterns of continuity and change, this chapter compares a set of OECD cross-country data, with particular attention to hierarchical-competitive and developmental-horizontal Anglo-liberal and Nordic trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEconomic Policies for a Post-Neoliberal World
EditorsPhilip Arestis, Malcolm Sawyer
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages46
ISBN (Electronic)9783030567354
ISBN (Print)9783030567347
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Papers in Political Economy

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