Book launch - 'The Politics of Time' by Guy Standing

Key information

6:00 pm
Brunei Gallery
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

About this event

SOAS Development Studies Department and the Progressive Economy Forum invite you to a Book Launch for Guy Standing's The Politics of Time - Gaining Control in the Age of Uncertainty.

Time has always been political. Throughout history, how most people use their time has been defined and controlled by the powerful. Today is no exception. But we can reclaim control, and in this book, the pioneering economist Guy Standing shows us how.

The ancient Greeks organised time into five categories: work, labour, recreation, leisure and contemplation. Labour was onerous, while the keys to a good life were self-chosen work and leisure (schole), which included participation in public life and lifelong education. Yet now our jobs are supposed to provide all meaning in life; our time outside labour is considered simply ‘time off’, and politicians prioritise jobs above all else.

Today, we are experiencing the age of chronic uncertainty. Stress and mental illness are on the rise as more and more time is being stolen from us in myriad ways, particularly from the vulnerable and those in the precariat.

But there is a way forward. We can create a new politics of time, one that liberates us and helps save the planet, through strengthening real leisure and working on shared endeavours through commoning. We can retake control of our time, but we must do it together.

Guy Standing has held professorships at Bath, London and Monash universities, was a programme director in the UN's International Labour Organization and has advised many international bodies and governments on social and economic policies. He co-founded the Basic Income Earth Network and is now its co-president. He is author of the The Precariat, Basic Income, Plunder of the Commons and The Blue Commons.

Join us for the launch, discussion and Q&A, followed by a drinks reception. Please register for your free ticket via Eventbrite or RSVP to