The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest political think tank. Founded in 1884, the Society is at the forefront of developing political ideas and public policy on the left.
What we stand for
We aim 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
Currently, we aim to promote these objectives through six central programmes:
- Born equal – tackling economic inequality in the UK
- Britain’s future – identity, constitution and the UK’s place in the world
- Together – public services, communities and collective endeavour
- Green lives – the environment and citizens
- Business for us all – innovation, responsibility and long-termism
- Facing the Future – rebuilding, reaching out, reconnecting
The society is alone among think tanks in being a democratically-constituted membership organisation, with almost 7,000 members. The Fabian Society is governed by the democratically-elected Executive Committee while the day-to-day operation of the society is overseen by the General Secretary.
Through a wide range of publications and events the society influences political and public thinking, but also provides a space for broad and open-minded debate, drawing on an unrivalled external network and its own expert research and analysis. Its programme offers a unique breadth, encompassing national conferences and policy seminars; periodicals, books, reports and digital publication; and commissioned and in-house research and comment.
Member-led activity includes 70 local Fabian societies, the Scottish and Welsh Fabians, the Fabian Women’s Network and the Young Fabians, which is itself the leading organisation on the left for young people to debate and influence political ideas.
The society was one of the original founders of the Labour Party and is constitutionally affiliated to the party as a Socialist Society . These are membership organisations in sympathy with the party, which sit alongside trade unions as organisational members. The society is however editorially, organisationally and financially independent of the Labour Party and works with a wide range of partners of all political persuasions and none.
The society is a member institution of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). FEPS is an independent EU-wide social democrat political foundation, affiliated to the Party of European Socialists (PES). It aims to establish an intellectual crossroads between social democracy and the European project and is a platform for ideas, working in close collaboration with its membership of over 40 national political foundations and think tanks.
We have sister organisations in Australia and New Zealand which are totally independent:
We are not a doctrinal organisation but the Fabian tradition informs how we think and what we do. No other think tank has an adjective 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. We are a pluralist movement and create space for open debate.