Accessibility statement

Eunseong Hwang


Title of Research:

Will AI and automation upend Article 23 regarding the right to work? A look into the changing nature of the social contract, human rights, and the modern welfare state 

Brief overview of research topic:

Many have questioned the future of work and whether AI (artificial intelligence) and automation will completely take over, or simply disrupt and modify our lives. There seems, however, rela-tively little written about how it affects the nature of the social contract in modern society today and in the future, in terms of the welfare state and human rights pertaining to economic rights. In particular, Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding the right to work.

With this in mind, my aim will be to analyse this problem from a political theory point of view as well as a human rights point of view. I will look at what duty the government has with regard to Article 23, in the unlikely event that such predictions come true. That is, if the majority of people are made redundant, or there is no longer a need for most people to work as much as they do because of technology and automation, does this change the social contract as tradition-ally conceived, regarding the duties and obligations between a state and its citizens? How does this impact notions of the welfare state? Is universal basic income the fairest and most efficient way to deal with these problems, or are there better alternatives (a wage guarantee, negative in-come tax, etc.), or is it a red herring and we should be focusing more on structural violence and power within the system? In sum my thesis will address the question: How does automation and technology interact and change the evolving idea of the social contract and the welfare state?



MSc, Development Studies, London School of Economics

PG-Cert, Terrorism Studies, University of St Andrews

BA, Dual degree in Linguistics and International Relations & Global Political Economy, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies



Eunseong Hwang

Eunseong is supervised by Dr Martin O'Neill (Philosophy) and Alan Thomas

Contact details

Ms Eunseong Hwang