Michael Opielka, The Basic Income as a Central Social Policy Innovation (2015)

The paper discusses the idea of ​​the Basic Income as a social-political innovation for the 21st century, which provides important answers to key challenges of welfare capitalism. The discussion is embedded in a further development of the welfare regulatory theory around a “guarantee” welfare regime focused on human rights protection. The importance of the three traditional concepts of justice – performance, equality, needs – is underlined, but their absolutizing is clearly rejected. The concept of justice “participation” corresponding to the fourth type of regimes “guarantees” can only claim ideal quality as a participatory, democratic project. It is also debated whether the current discourse is an “investment social policy”, which is usually focused on physical services and infrastructure and often criticizes cash services as “passive”, make the idea of ​​the basic income superfluous. The article concludes with an optimistic conclusion: a “society for all” is possible if future design is also understood as the task of ethically responsible science.

The contribution is the revised version of a lecture at the conference “60 Years Bundessozialgericht – Colloquium VIII Structural Problems of Social Security Financing”, on 10.9.2014 in Kassel.

Citation: Michael Opielka, Structural Problems of Social Security Financing from a Social Science Perspective: The Basic Income as a Central Social Policy Innovation, in: Masuch, Peter / Spellbrink, Wolfgang / Becker, Ulrich, Leibfried, Stephan. 60 years of Bundessozialgericht. Volume 2. Berlin: Schmidt 2015, p. 735-754