Proof positive? Testing the universal basic income as a post- COVID new normal: the cases of the Baltic and Canada


  • Tatjana Muravska Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia
  • Denis Dyomkin Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada



UBI, EU, interventionism, welfare state, pandemic, wealth, poverty


The global response to the coronavirus has highlighted gaping holes in the social security net. Resultantly, the unconditional basic income (UBI) idea has gained traction worldwide throughout 2020, both among the public and politicians looking for solutions to address poverty and stimulate economic recovery. The shift from viewing the UBI as a utopia towards recognizing it as an internationally acceptable policy requires further exploration. By comparing the pandemic-sparked interventionist policies on both sides of the Atlantic, the paper analyses the de facto introduction of the UBI in socially progressive countries, taking Canada and the Baltics as test cases. The authors conclude that the global crisis, exposing the alarming state of affairs of social security, has reopened an intense debate over the role of government interventions and the scope of the welfare state and paved the way for reforms that would embrace better state funding, with an emphasis on social solidarity.


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Author Biographies

Tatjana Muravska, Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia

Tatjana Muravska, Professor in Regional Economy and European Integration, Jean Monnet Professor and a visiting professor at universities in Europe, Canada, India, Georgia. Director, Doctoral Programme in Business Administration, Riga Stradins University and a Chairperson of the Academic Council, Doctoral School for European and Baltic Sea Region Studies, University of Latvia. She has held various senior positions, including serving as Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for European and Transition Studies, a scientist in charge of Marie Curie Excellence Centre and then as academic coordinator of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Research and publications cover EU social, regional, economic, and external policies matters.

Denis Dyomkin , Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Denis Dyomkin is a researcher and educator in collaboration with Carleton University, Canada, and an affiliated expert with the Centre for European and Transition Studies at the University of Latvia, conducting a cross-disciplinary analysis of public policy on transatlantic relations, European issues, the post-Soviet world, and the modern media ecosystem. He is a veteran journalist who covered European and Eurasian affairs for Reuters, the world's largest multimedia news agency.