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Political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson argues that the 17th century concept of the Protestant work has been perverted, and is now used to justify policies that promote the wealth and power of the richest in society, at workers’ expense.

In her latest book, Hijacked: How neoliberalism turned the work ethic against the workers, Anderson says we should reclaim the original goals of the work ethic and better ensure that it promotes dignity for workers.

Join the Policy Institute and the Fairness Foundation to discuss how ideas of a work ethic informed debates among the political economists of the past, and how these ideas can help us in thinking about inequality today.


  • Elizabeth Anderson, Professor of Public Philosophy; University of Michigan and author of 'Hijacked'
  • Sohrab Ahmari, Founder and editor, Compact magazine, and 'American Affairs' columnist, the New Statesman
  • Bethan Staton, Deputy Editor, Work and Careers, Financial Times
  • Stuart White, Nicholas Drake Tutorial Fellow in Politics, University of Oxford
  • Will Snell, Chief Executive, the Fairness Foundation (Chair)

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