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Reinventing the Welfare State with Ursula Huws (Pluto FireWorks Series)
Sun, April 18, 2021 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM$7.00 – $25.00
Ursula Huws speaks with Todd Wolfson on creative ideas for reinventing the welfare state to address contemporary challenges in a session chaired by FireWorks Series editor, and Editorial Director at Pluto Press, David Castle.
When faced with standard issue programs to restore the post-war era “good jobs” and welfare state, long-time organizing activist, researcher and scholar Ursula Huws comments “…most woke young people who have grown up in the early twenty-first century would, if transported back to the 1950s, probably feel themselves to be in a restrictive, class-bound, sexist, racist, homophobic hell.” This is a jumping off point for Huws new manifesto-like book on Reinventing the Welfare State: Digital Platforms and Public Policies. Join Ursula for a detailed online conversation this coming Sunday afternoon February 21 on casual work versus “platform work” under the regime of neo-liberal social policy and global corporations, the accompanying persistence of racial and gender inequality, and proposals for what we can do about it. Huws has been a remarkable thinker and engaging speaker on these matters for decades, and her approach as ever spans national policy as well as the new wave of grassroots struggles.
In Reinventing the Welfare State: Digital Platforms and Public PoliciesUrsula Huws proposes a welfare state infused with social justice and equality, including a redistributive UBI, decommodification of platforms and universal workers’ rights. With positivity and rigour, she outlines a ‘digital welfare state’ for the 21st century, which would involve a repurposing of online platform technologies under public control to modernise and expand public services, and improve accessibility.
Ursula Huws is Professor of Labor and Globalization at the University of Hertfordshire. She has been carrying out pioneering research on the economic, social and gender impacts of technological change, employment restructuring and the changing international division of labor since the 1970s, combining scholarship with activism and popular writing.
Todd Wolfson — Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) and Co-Director of Media, Inequality & Chance Center (MIC) — researches the intersection of new media and contemporary social movements. Author of Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left (2014), Wolfson also co-edited The Great Refusal: Herbert Marcuse and Contemporary Social Movements (2017).
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