Guy Standing (economist)

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Guy Standing

Guy Standing (sitting) in 2012.jpg
Guy Standing in 2012 at the BIEN Congress
Born (1948-02-09) 9 February 1948 (age 75)
Alma mater
ContributionsTheory of the precariat
AwardsFellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences (2009)

Guy Standing FAcSS (born 9 February 1948)[1] is a British labour economist. He is a professor of development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,[2] and a co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).[3] Standing has written widely in the areas of labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection. He created the term precariat to describe an emerging class of workers who are harmed by low wages and poor job security as a consequence of globalisation. Since the 2011 publication of his book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, his work has focused on the precariat, unconditional basic income, deliberative democracy, and the commons.[4]

Life and career

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 held a position of Professor of Labour Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.[5] 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.[5] 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).[8]

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Standing argued in 2021 that the pandemic's consequences showed that a universal basic income was inevitable. Standing has also endorsed a carbon tax as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[9]

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.[10]

The Precariat

Standing's best-known book is The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, published in 2011.[11] In it, he blames globalisation for having plunged more and more people into the precariat, which he analyses as a new emerging social class.[12] 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.[13]

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,[14] stating that it would create economic growth.[15] If politicians fail to take the necessary decisions, he predicts a wave of anger and violence,[16] and the rise of far-right parties.[17]

Standing in 2014

Personal life

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


  • The Blue Commons: Rescuing the Economy of the Sea. London: Pelican Books. 2022. ISBN 978-0-24-147-58-74.
  • Basic income: and how we can make it happen. London: Pelican/Penguin (A Pelican Introduction). 2017. ISBN 978-0-14-198549-7.
  • The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay. London: Biteback. 2016. ISBN 978-1-78590-044-0.
  • Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India (with S. Davala, R. Jhabvala and S. Kapoor Mehta. London and New Delhi: Bloomsbury Academic. 2015. ISBN 978-1-4725-8310-9.
  • A Precariat Charter: from denizens to citizens. London New York: Bloomsbury Academic. 2014. ISBN 978-1-4725-1039-6.
  • The Precariat. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 2011. 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.
  • Work after globalization: building occupational citizenship. Cheltenham, UK Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar. 2009. ISBN 978-1-84844-778-3.
  • Promoting income security as a right Europe and North America. London: Anthem Press. 2005. 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. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press. ISBN 978-1-919713-86-1.
  • Beyond the new paternalism: basic security as equality. London New York: Verso. 2002. ISBN 978-1-85984-345-1.
  • Global labour flexibility: seeking distributive justice. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-333-77652-0.

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. ^ "About BIEN". Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ Standing, Guy (27 January 2012). "The precariat: why it needs deliberative democracy". OpenDemocracy. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e Standing, Guy. "Career". Guy Standing. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  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. ^ "Professor Guy Standing | Staff | SOAS University of London". SOAS University of London Department of Development Studies. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  9. ^ Kang, Hyun-kyung (13 August 2021). "[INTERVIEW] UK economist calls for redirecting capitalism to make it more inclusive". koreatimes. Retrieved 16 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Fellows". Academy of Social Sciences. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  11. ^ Standing, Guy (2011). The precariat. City: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-84966-455-4.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Smoczyński, Wawrzyniec (15 September 2011). "Youthful members of the full-time precariat". Vox Europ | Polityka | Economy | Social Issues | Economic Crisis. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  14. ^ Why the precariat requires a basic income (Prof. Guy Standing) (ENG) on YouTube Conference in Ljubljana. BKTVkanal (3 November 2012). Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  15. ^ Standing, Guy (18 December 2014). "Basic income paid to the poor can transform lives". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  16. ^ Standing, Guy (1 June 2011). "Who will be a voice for the emerging precariat?". The Guardian | Comment is free. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  17. ^ Presenter: Elenanor Hall (9 February 2012). "The World Today: The dangers of the rising global protest movement (interview with Guy Standing)". ABC News. Sydney.
  18. ^ "The Labour party stands at a crossroads". The Guardian. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2017.

External links