Research project: Governance and UBI

Governance faces the challenge of adopting a proactive rather than reactive approach to provide comprehensive insurance coverage for individuals, encompassing both known and unknown risks. Furthermore, the distribution of risk is not uniform across the population. Addressing this disparity within a just system requires careful consideration to avoid discrimination against specific groups or individuals. Crafting fair contracts, such as constitutions, necessitates navigating pre-existing inequalities related to, for example gender and income, without perpetuating discrimination. Understanding the interconnection between these pre-existing inequalities and risks, such as crises, is vital.

At the core of this project lies an exploration of how effective governance can navigate these increasing pressures and respond efficiently, ensuring a foundation of principles rooted in social justice.The project seeks to delve into these critical areas related to governance, risk, and inequality, with a specific focus on examining the potential contributions of policy tools like Universal Basic Income (UBI) and the underlying principles of the New Ordoliberalism concept.

Exploring Governance, Incalculable Risk, and Unforeseen Contingencies

Policies must be carefully devised to enable governments to preemptively safeguard people against a spectrum of risks.

Crisis and the Uneven Distribution of Risk

Strategies must be formulated to effectively manage and mitigate the unequal distribution of risk.

Equal Contracts and Pre-existing Inequalities

Strategies should be developed to eliminate or alleviate these risks while maintaining fairness and equity.

The project asks and aims to answer questions of the following manner:

Governance, incalculable risk and unforeseen contingencies

  • How can a government act in a preventive rather than reactive way to insure people against risks, also the risks that are unknown or hard to correctly calculate?
  • What concrete policies could fulfill this?

Crisis and unevenly distributed risk

  • Is risk and incalculable risk distributed evenly over the population?
  • If not, how could a just system handle this unequal distribution without discriminating groups or individuals in the society?

Equal contracts handling pre-existing inequalities.

  • How can a fair contract that is not supposed to discriminate individuals, like a constitution, handle pre-existing inequalities like gender inequality and income inequality.
  • How is pre-existing inequalities in society connected to risks, for example to crisis, and how can these risks be eliminated.

The project aims to research these areas in relation to policy tools like UBI and the concept of New Ordoliberalism. To this end, we examine the policy instrument of net basic incomes (Workingpaper: , Video: ) to clarify the distinction between discriminatory and unconditional policies. Finally, we develop a proposal for the development of grounds for discrimination within the framework of the new ordoliberalism based on the feminist perspective.


Prof. Dr. Karl Justus Bernhard Neumärker

Dr. Marcel Franke

Clem Davies

Elina Malmberg