The Heretical Political Discourse

A Discourse Analysis of the Danish Debate on Basic Income

By Erik Christensen

In the beginning of the 1990s, Denmark was developing along a 'basic income path'. At that time the hegemonic growth discourse was in crisis. Its legitimacy was doubted in the public opinion, and because of the unemployment crisis, basic income had been put on the agenda by new political networks and minority groups. However, at the same time a new labour market policy called 'activation' was introduced, and slowly, at the rhetorical level, the question of basic income was excluded. In public political debates and within the political parties, a workfare discourse was created, and basic income came to be considered a heretical political discourse and was made a target of negative political stereotyping. This anthology about the basic income debate in Denmark offers a discourse-analytical perspective on Denmark's development from a universal welfare state to a workfare state. With its analysis of metaphors, narratives and key concepts in the debate, it unveils how the basic income discourse ended up being both heretical and excluded. Lastly, it provides a global ecological argument for a basic income and discusses the conditions for bringing back the basic income question on the political agenda.


164 pages

Publication Date: 6/23/2008
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9788773079362