Ben Spies-Butcher

Associate Professor


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Ben Spies-Butcher teaches Economy and Society and is Head of the Sociology Department at Macquarie University. Ben completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Sydney while working in the non-government sector on issues of human rights. His research focuses on the political economy of social policy and the welfare state, particularly how economic and political change shape social policy financing. His current research explores how financial logics common in the private sector are reshaping social policy through changes in public sector budgeting, and the potential for these changes to open new opportunities for egalitarian social provision.

In addition to his academic publications, Ben is a regular contributor to The Conversation and is a Social Policy Whisperer for Power to Persuade. Ben is a Research Associate at the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the University of Auckland, a member of the Policy Advisory Group for COTA NSW and was the 2017 Glenda Powell National Travelling Fellow for the Australian Association of Gerontology.

External positions

Research Associate, University of Auckland

2011 → …

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Research Outputs

Advancing universalism in neoliberal times? Basic income, workfare and the politics of conditionality

Spies-Butcher, B., Jul 2020, In : Critical Sociology. 46, 4-5, p. 589-603 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Between universalism and targeting: exploring policy pathways for an Australian Basic Income

    Spies-Butcher, B., Henderson, T. & Phillips, B., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Economic and Labour Relations Review.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Bringing finance inside the state: how income-contingent loans blur the boundaries between debt and tax

    Bryant, G. & Spies-Butcher, B., Feb 2020, In : Environment and Planning A. 52, 1, p. 111-129 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Stepping stones to an Australian Basic Income

    Spies-Butcher, B. & Henderson, T., 2019, Implementing a basic income in Australia: pathways forward. Klein, E., Mays, J. & Dunlop, T. (eds.). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 163-178 16 p. (Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter