Who we are
We are a left-leaning think tank dedicated to new public policy and political ideas
We are a membership movement, active throughout Britain and open to everyone on the left
We are a democratically governed socialist society, a Labour affiliate and one of the party’s original founders
We champion and celebrate Fabianism, the belief that radical long-term goals are best advanced through empirical, practical, gradual reform
We don’t have organisational policy views and instead embrace debate and difference
A think tank and a membership network
The Fabian Society is an independent left-leaning think tank and a democratic membership society with over 7,000 members. We influence political and public thinking and provide a space for broad and open-minded debate. We publish insight, analysis and opinion; conduct research and undertake major policy inquiries; convene conferences, speaker meetings and roundtables; and facilitate member debate and activism across the UK.
As a think tank we have a reputation for high quality, politically salient projects that have a real impact on political and policy debate. Our staff team in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh work with leading politicians and policy experts to develop and promote new ideas and to influence the climate of political opinion. Read about our current projects and our four thematic priorities.
We are affiliated to the Labour party and work very closely with Labour politicians, as well as influencing debate across the political spectrum. Every Labour prime minister has been a Fabian and today 100s of Labour politicians are members of the society, including Labour leader Keir Starmer MP and more than half his shadow cabinet, as well as senior figures in devolved and local government. Our elected executive committee currently includes five Labour frontbenchers.
Our membership is at the heart of everything we do. People become Fabians because they agree with our political values and want to support out work, and to read what we publish and participate in our events and activities. Our members set the society’s direction, through our democratic structures and they shape our programme as contributors and volunteers. Each year hundreds of activities are organised by and for our members by autonomous sections of the society – the Young Fabians, the Fabian Women’s Network, the Scottish Fabians, the Welsh Fabians – and by member policy groups and affiliated local Fabian societies.
What we stand for
The Fabian Society is a socialist organisation which aims to promote:
- greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity
- the value of collective action and public service
- an accountable, tolerant and active democracy
- citizenship, liberty and human rights
- sustainable development
- multilateral international cooperation
Fabianism (noun) ‘the beliefs, principles, or practices of the Fabian Society’ – Collins English Dictionary
The Fabian tradition informs how we think and what we do. No other think tank has an ‘ism’ of its own. Our commitment to Fabianism means we believe in the fight against inequality, the power of collective action and an internationalist outlook. We believe in social progress, evidence, expertise, rationality and long-termism. We advocate gradualist, reformist and democratic means in a journey towards radical ends. As a society we celebrate our historic achievements and champion the collectivist institutions built by Fabians. We promote Fabian arguments within politics today and support the political development of people who share our values.
Pluralism and debate: We are a pluralist movement that creates spaces and networks for open debate, to discuss political challenges and advance new thinking. We platform a diversity of opinion, and constructive disagreement is expected and respected. As an organisation we have no collective positions and we do not campaign for particular policies. Everyone who writes or speaks for the Fabians does so in their own name, without committing the society.
Equality and inclusion: We strive to make the British left more diverse, equal and inclusive and to ensure that the left’s ideas can create a more equal and inclusive society. We seek to create equal opportunities for political participation, in our own work and beyond, for people on the left from every background and identity. We work especially hard to platform and support people from groups underrepresented within the Fabian Society, left politics and public life.
We are committed to transparency and accountability – find out more.
The Labour Party: The Fabian Society is the labour movement’s independent think tank. We are one of the original founders of the Labour party and are constitutionally affiliated to the party as a socialist society. We have a stake in Labour’s democratic processes at local, regional and national level. But we are wholly independent of the party editorially, organisationally and financially.
Project partners: At the level of individual projects we work with a wide range of partners of all political persuasions and none, including companies, trade bodies, trade unions and charities. Find out about partnerships with the society.
Affiliates and subscribers: Organisations in sympathy with our values can affiliate to the society – for example trade unions and units of the Labour party. Non-political organisations can take an institutional subscription. Email us to subscribe or affiliate.
International: We are affiliated to the EU think tank the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). Our sister organisations the Australian Fabian Society and the New Zealand Fabian Society are totally independent from the UK Fabians.