Reviving egalitarianism in the global transformation: Building occupational security

Guy Standing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The world is in the midst of a Global Transformation, reflecting the painful creation of a global market society. Globalization was the disembedded phase, in which inequalities and insecurities multiplied as national systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution were dismantled or broke down. This reflected the collapse of labourism and systems of industrial citizenship, and an end to the building of national welfare states as the development objective. The outcomes were unsustainable. But what should be the counter-movement by which the global economic system will be re-embedded in society? This article suggests that a new approach to social and economic security is required, one that places work and occupation at the centre of life rather than labour, and one in which universal basic economic security is the primary development objective. In order to move in that direction, this article advocates the use of five policy decision principles by which all policies and institutional changes should be evaluated. It concludes by sketching a progressive strategy oriented to occupational citizenship, giving equal respect to liberty, equality and fraternity, or social solidarity. The world is in the midst of a Global Transformation, reflecting the painful creation of a global market society. Globalization was the disembedded phase, in which inequalities and insecurities multiplied as national systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution were dismantled or broke down. This reflected the collapse of labourism and systems of industrial citizenship, and an end to the building of national welfare states as the development objective. The outcomes were unsustainable. But what should be the counter-movement by which the global economic system will be re-embedded in society? This article suggests that a new approach to social and economic security is required, one that places work and occupation at the centre of life rather than labour, and one in which universal basic economic security is the primary development objective. In order to move in that direction, this article advocates the use of five policy decision principles by which all policies and institutional changes should be evaluated. It concludes by sketching a progressive strategy oriented to occupational citizenship, giving equal respect to liberty, equality and fraternity, or social solidarity. The world is in the midst of a Global Transformation, reflecting the painful creation of a global market society. Globalization was the disembedded phase, in which inequalities and insecurities multiplied as national systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution were dismantled or broke down. This reflected the collapse of labourism and systems of industrial citizenship, and an end to the building of national welfare states as the development objective. The outcomes were unsustainable. But what should be the counter-movement by which the global economic system will be re-embedded in society? This article suggests that a new approach to social and economic security is required, one that places work and occupation at the centre of life rather than labour, and one in which universal basic economic security is the primary development objective. In order to move in that direction, this article advocates the use of five policy decision principles by which all policies and institutional changes should be evaluated. It concludes by sketching a progressive strategy oriented to occupational citizenship, giving equal respect to liberty, equality and fraternity, or social solidarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-62
Number of pages24
JournalIndian Journal of Human Development
Volume2
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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