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The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class

The Precariat

Guy Standing

Publication Date: 2011

Pages: 192

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781849664554

Neo-liberal policies and institutional changes have produced a huge and growing number of people with sufficiently common experiences to be called an emerging class. In this book Guy Standing introduces what he calls the Precariat - a growing number of people across the world living and working precariously, usually in a series of short-term jobs, without recourse to stable occupational identities or careers, stable social protection or protective regulations relevant to them. They include migrants, but also locals.

Standing argues that this class of people could produce new instabilities in society. They are increasingly frustrated and dangerous because they have no voice, and hence they are vulnerable to the siren calls of extreme political parties. He outlines a new kind of good society, with more people actively involved in civil society and the precariat re-engaged. He goes on to consider one way to a new better society -- an unconditional basic income for everyone, contributed by the state, which could be topped up through earned incomes.

This is a topical, and a radical book, which will appeal to a broad market concerned by the increasing problems of labour insecurity and civic disengagement.

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