Guy Standing (economist)

Guy Standing, FAcSS (born 9 February 1948)[1] is a British professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London,[2] and co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).[3]

Guy Standing
Guy Standing (cropped).jpeg
Born (1948-02-09) 9 February 1948 (age 73)
InstitutionBasic Income Earth Network (BIEN)
and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
FieldUnconditional basic income and deliberative democracy
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (PhD)
University of Illinois (MA)
University of Sussex (BA)
ContributionsTheory of the precariat
AwardsFellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS)

Standing has written widely in the areas of labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection. His recent work has concerned the emerging precariat class, the need to move towards unconditional basic income and deliberative democracy, and the commons.[4]


Guy Standing gained his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Sussex in 1971. After taking a masters in labour economics and industrial relations at the University of Illinois, he received his doctorate in economics from the University of Cambridge in 1977.[5]


From 1975 to 2006, Standing worked at the International Labour Organization, latterly as director of the ILO's Socio-Economic Security Programme.[5] The programme was responsible for a major report on socio-economic security worldwide[6] and for creation of the Decent Work Index.[7]

From April 2006 to February 2009, he was holding a position of Professor of Labour Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.[8] In 2006, he became professor of economic security at the University of Bath, leaving in 2013 to become professor of development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.[5] Since October 2015 he has worked in Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, University of London, UK.[8] He was also working on "pilot basic income schemes in India" and on topics connected to his two recent books, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011) and A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (2014).[9]

The Precariat

Standing's best-known book is The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, published in 2011.[10] In it, he blames globalisation for having plunged more and more people into the precariat, which he analyses as a new emerging social class.[11] According to Standing, the precariat is not only suffering from job insecurity but also identity insecurity and lack of time control, not least due to workfare social policies.

Standing describes the precariat as an agglomerate of several different social groups, notably immigrants, young educated people, and those who have fallen out of the old-style industrial working class.[12]

Standing calls on politicians to make ambitious social reforms towards ensuring financial security as a right. He argues for an unconditional basic income as an important step to a new approach,[13] stating that it would create economic growth.[14] If politicians fail to take the necessary decisions, he predicts a wave of anger and violence,[15] and the rise of far-right parties.[16] There are some extracts of his book:

In every industrialised country, we currently apply means-tested benefits. That means you’re targeting the poor

The old system has broken. Wages will continue to decline. Insecurity will continue to grow. That is a recipe for economic instability

We are in an era of chronic insecurity and growing inequality. We need to have new mechanisms for income distribution[17]


In August 2015, Standing endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election.[18]


Selected bibliography


  • Standing, Guy (2017). Basic income: and how we can make it happen. London: Pelican/Penguin (A Pelican Introduction). ISBN 978-0-14-198549-7.
  • Standing, Guy (2016). The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay. London: Biteback. ISBN 978-1-78590-044-0.
  • Standing, Guy (2015). Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India (with S. Davala, R. Jhabvala and S. Kapoor Mehta. London and New Delhi: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-4725-8310-9.
  • Standing, Guy (2014). A Precariat Charter: from denizens to citizens. London New York: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-4725-1039-6.
  • Standing, Guy (2011). The Precariat. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-84966-455-4.
  • Standing, Guy; Jhabvala, Renana; Unni, Jeemol; Rani, Uma (2010). Social income and insecurity: a study in Gujarat. London New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-58574-3.
  • Standing, Guy (2009). Work after globalization: building occupational citizenship. Cheltenham, UK Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar. ISBN 978-1-84844-778-3.
  • Standing, Guy (2005). Promoting income security as a right Europe and North America. London: Anthem Press. ISBN 978-0-85728-732-8.
  • Standing, Guy; November, Andràs (2003). Un revenu de base pour chacun(e). Genève: Bureau international du travail. ISBN 9789222151264.
  • Standing, Guy; Samson, Michael (30 September 2003). A Basic Income Grant for South Africa, edited with M. Samson. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press. ISBN 978-1-919713-86-1.
  • Standing, Guy (2002). Beyond the new paternalism: basic security as equality. London New York: Verso. ISBN 978-1-85984-345-1.
  • Standing, Guy (1999). Global labour flexibility: seeking distributive justice. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-333-77652-0.

Journal articles

See also


  1. ^ "Standing, Guy". Library of Congress. Retrieved 4 July 2014. found: His Population mobility and productive relations, 1984: CIP t.p. (Guy Standing) data sheet (b. 2/9/48)
  2. ^ "Professor Guy Standing, Department of Development Studies". School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Standing, Guy (27 January 2012). "The precariat: why it needs deliberative democracy". OpenDemocracy. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Standing, Guy. "Career". Guy Standing. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  6. ^ "SES Publications - Socio-economic security".
  7. ^ Standing, Guy; Bonnet, Florence; Figueiredo, José B. (June 2003). "A family of decent work indexes". International Labour Review. 142 (2): 213–238. doi:10.1111/j.1564-913X.2003.tb00259.x.
  8. ^ a b / Guy Standing Retrieved on 29 Jan 2018
  9. ^ / Guy Standing Retrieved on 29 Jan 2018
  10. ^ Standing, Guy (2011). The precariat. City: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-84966-455-4.
  11. ^ Standing, Guy (19 August 2012). "Britain's labour figures hide the real hours we work every day". The Guardian | Comment is free. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  12. ^ Smoczyński, Wawrzyniec (15 September 2011). "Youthful members of the full-time precariat". Vox Europ | Polityka | Economy | Social Issues | Economic Crisis. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  13. ^ Why the precariat requires a basic income (Prof. Guy Standing) (ENG) on YouTube Conference in Ljubljana. BKTVkanal (3 November 2012). Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  14. ^ Standing, Guy (18 December 2014). "Basic income paid to the poor can transform lives". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  15. ^ Standing, Guy (1 June 2011). "Who will be a voice for the emerging precariat?". The Guardian | Comment is free. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  16. ^ Presenter: Elenanor Hall (9 February 2012). "The World Today: The dangers of the rising global protest movement (interview with Guy Standing)". ABC News. Sydney.
  17. ^ "The economist behind Universal Basic Income: Give all citizens UBI to help combat a 'neofascist wave of populism'". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  18. ^ "The Labour party stands at a crossroads". The Guardian. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Fellows". Academy of Social Sciences. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.

External links