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UMaine Professor Howard Wins International Essay Prize

Contact: Michael Howard, 581-3861
George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — UMaine philosophy professor Michael Howard recently won first prize in an essay contest conducted by Basic Income Studies, a new international academic journal that focuses on basic income issues and universal welfare policies.

Howard received the award at the Eleventh Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) in Cape Town, South Africa in November. The award is designed to inspire promising research on basic income and related policies. The Basic Income Studies essay prize is awarded for an essay that exemplifies the high standard of quality and original basic income research. Winners are chosen from essays presented on alternating years at the BIEN Congress and U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network Congress.

In his article, “A NAFTA Dividend: A Proposal for a Guaranteed Minimum Income for North America,” Howard applies Thomas Pogge’s argument for a global resource dividend on a regional basis in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“The paper is both novel and important, and it is well-developed both in terms of its comparison with the related proposal for a basic income for the European Union and in its examination of the specifics of the North American Free Trade Area,” Basic Income Studies editors Karl Widerquist and Jurgen De Wispelaere say. Howard’s essay will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal.

Howard also has an article in the first edition of the new Basic Income Studies, which can be accessed through the journal’s website (

The Prize Essay and three essays worthy of honorable mention were selected by a panel of judges from Basic Income Studies and the Basic Income Earth Network, who represented the fields of economics, politics, philosophy and development studies.

Honorable mention was awarded for: “Good for women? Advantages and Risks of Basic Income from a Gender Perspective” by Julieta Elgarta (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina and Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium); “Why Switzerland? Basic Income and the Development Potential of Swiss Republicanism” by Eric Patry (Institute for Economic and Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland); and “Australia’s Disabling Income Support System” by Jennifer Mays (Centre for Social change Research, Queensland University of Technology, Australia). 


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