Research Fellow
University of Cambridge

David is a sociologist specialising in the future of work and welfare. Prior to his position at Cambridge, he worked as an ethnographer in Welsh community organisations and as a Berggruen Fellow, based in the philosophy department at New York University. He is also interested in working in a policy context, and has undertaken significant work on the prospects for a basic income and a shorter working week, as an affiliate with the think-tank Autonomy.

Research interests
  • The politics of automation
  • ‘Post-work’ theory and work refusal
  • Experiences of unemployment and precarious work
  • Wellness interventions and power in organisations
  • The philosophy and implementation of basic income
  • The philosophy and implementation of the shorter working week
  • The social organisation of care work
Research articles

Pearce, S., Blakely, H., Frayne, D., Rees-Jones, I. (2020) ‘Evaluation in reinforcing and resisting hierarchical relations between state and civil society’, Social Policy and Administration.

Frayne, D. (2016) ‘Stepping Outside the Circle: The Ecological Promise of Shorter Working Hours’, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. Vol.20 (2)


Frayne, D. (editor) (2019) The Work Cure: Critical essays on work and wellness. Monmouth: PCCS

Frayne, D. (2015) The Refusal of Work. London: Zed Books

Policy publications

Frayne, D. and Maher, M. (2021) Jobs and health: Re-opening the debate

Frayne, D., Goodman, C., Kellam, J., Muldoon, J. and Standing, G. (2021) Piloting a basic income in Wales: Principles, precedents and feasibility

Frayne, D. and Stronge, W. (eds.) (2021) A future fit for Wales: A basic income for all

Frayne, D. and Stronge, W. (eds.) (2021) A future fit for Wales: Roadmap to a shorter working week

Blogs and Media

Frayne, D. (2021) ‘Chasing boogeymen: Review essay on Jon Cruddas’ The Dignity of Labour’, Autonomy

Frayne, D. (2020) ‘The great work disruption’, Noema, 9th July

Frayne, D. (2019) ‘The UBI Maze: Reflections on the future of work, technology and basic income’, Autonomy

Frayne, D. and Hutchinson, E. (2019) Interview on my edited collection, The Work Cure, The Psychologist

Frayne, D. (2019) ‘The World Health Organisation recognises burnout: Solving the problem might not be a win-win’, Independent, 6th June

Frayne, D. (2019) ‘Work less, play more: Comments on Autonomy’s proposal for a shorter working week’, Red Pepper, 21st Feb

Frayne, D. (2018) ‘Stop repeating the mantra that “work is good for you”’, New Statesman, 30th Nov

Frayne, D. (2018) ‘Framing the Future: Review essay on James Chamberlain’s Undoing Work, Rethinking Community’, Autonomy, 25th Oct

Frayne, D. and Mergner, L. (2016) ‘The Work Dogma: An Interview with David Frayne’, Contrivers’ Review, 5th April

Frayne, D. (2016) ‘Will automation mark the end of our work-centred society?’, Guardian, 24th Feb

Frayne, D. (2016) ‘Towards a Post-Work Society’, ROAR Magazine, June 2016