Ben Spies-Butcher

Associate Professor

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ben Spies-Butcher is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
welfare state Social Sciences
welfare Social Sciences
taxes Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
market Social Sciences
loan Social Sciences
basic income Social Sciences
mobilization Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2009 2018

Research Outputs 2002 2020

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

Spies-Butcher, B., 3 Sep 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Critical Sociology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

basic income

Mobilising alternative futures: generational accounting and the fiscal politics of ageing in Australia

Spies-Butcher, B. & Stebbing, A., Jul 2019, In : Ageing and Society. 39, 7, p. 1409-1435 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


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 proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Basic income
Policy change
Population aging

Accounting for income-contingent loans as a policy hybrid: politics of discretion and discipline in financialising welfare states

Spies-Butcher, B. & Bryant, G., 2 Nov 2018, In : New Political Economy. 23, 6, p. 768-785 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

welfare state
university sector

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

Bryant, G. & Spies-Butcher, B., 16 Mar 2018, In : Environment and Planning A. 52, 1, p. 111-129 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review