The didn't pilot the Welfare State: on evidence and temporality in policy-making

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This paper examines the early stages of planning for a possible pilot on Universal Basic Income in Fife, Scotland. It builds on interviews with key stakeholders in the process and a number of internal and public documents related to the case. It focuses the analysis on a particular moment in the development of the pilot and discusses the idea of ‘piloting’, which in today’s policy-making seems to be an indispensable stage preceding radically new policy. Yet it seems there is a fundamental mismatch between ‘a pilot’ and the innovative work such are often called upon to do. Taking as is starting point for a discussion a key civil servants lament that “they did not pilot the welfare state” the paper moves on to argue that the real potential of a pilot lies not in its capacity to predict and prepare for policy outcome but in its capacity to prototype political alliances which might eventually do other work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateMar 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - Mar 2018
EventCRASSH: Work In Progress Seminar - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 May 2010 → …


LocationUniversity of Cambridge
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period19/05/2010 → …


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