Confronting the Plunder of the Commons

Wednesday 31 January 2018, 4.00PM to 5.00pm

Speaker(s): Guy Standing

An aspect of the ongoing Global Transformation has been the systematic plunder of the commons, facilitated by globalisation and the neo-liberal economic paradigm guiding governments and international agencies.

Inspired by the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, this presentation will trace how the neo-liberalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s has morphed into a system of rentier capitalism, and how this has resulted in the plunder of the natural, social, cultural and intellectual commons. This is worsening inequality and economic insecurity by much more than commonly understood, particularly disadvantaging the growing precariat. The presentation will conclude with proposals for the revival of the commons and for building a new income distribution system.

The presentation will draw in particular from two recent books, The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers thrive and work does not pay (Biteback) and Basic Income…..And how we can make it happen (Pelican).

Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies & University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences and co-founder and now honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international NGO that promotes basic income.

He was previously Professor of Development Studies in SOAS, Professor of Economic Security, University of Bath, Professor of Labour Economics, Monash University, and Director of the ILO’s Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, including UNICEF, UNDP, the European Commission and the World Bank, has worked with SEWA in India for many years, and was Director of Research for President Mandela’s Labour Market Policy Commission.

His recent books include The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), which has been translated into 19 languages; A Precariat Charter (2014); with others, Basic Income – A Transformative Policy for India, and The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (2016). His latest book is Basic Income: And how we can make it happen (Pelican, Penguin, 2017).

Directions and Parking

Please see the University campus map for the location of ARC/014 which is in the Alcuin Research Resource Centre. The building is opposite the Alcuin Teaching Block (Seebohm Rowntree Building) reception. The room is on the ground floor at the far end from the main entrance, around the corner, behind the lift. It is just a short walk to the Alcuin Research Resource Centre from Campus North car park and it is well sign posted. Parking costs £1 per hour and you can pay using coins or via a mobile phone via the RingGo parking. For information on public transport to the University please see the Travel and Transport webpages.

Book Jacket

Location: Alcuin Research Resource Centre (ARRC/014)

Admission: FREE Eventbrite ticket