Library: Think pieces
Minority Report: Race and Class in post-Brexit Britain
Dr Faiza Shaheen, Omar Khan
Think piece, 21 March 2017
This new report by the Runnymede and CLASS think tank explores the intersection of race and class in post-Brexit Britain.
What is aspiration?
How progressives should respond
Owen Jones, Kevin Courtney, Bruce Bennett, Imogen Tyler
Think piece, 25 August 2015
This essay series will explore the issue of aspiration from a progressive standpoint and asks whether aspiration can be a left wing value.
The ‘budget surplus’ rule scam
Prof Malcolm Sawyer
Think piece, 7 July 2015
In June George Osborne outlined his plans for a new 'budget surplus’ law. This paper argues that this is ill-defined and essentially unenforceable. The proposal appeared without any economic rationale as to why a budget surplus would be either desirable or indeed achievable in a sustainable manner. Instead, this paper...
The First 100 Days
What should a progressive government implement?
Think piece, 29 April 2015
In May 2015 a new progressive government could take office. Following one of the most unpredictable elections in decades, it will be a huge task to set down clear priorities that can begin to restore fairness and challenge inequalities in wealth and power. The first 100 days of the next...
Securing a decent deal for workers
Employee representatives on boards
Jim Sheridan MP
Think piece, 11 September 2014
This think piece argues for employee representatives on company boards. It is based upon interviews conducted in Sweden where successful legislation regarding employee representatives is already in place. In Sweden, companies with 25 or more employees have two representatives on the company board; companies with 1000 employees or more have...
In the public interest
The role of the modern state
Think piece, 9 August 2014
This Think Piece examines the overarching themes that run through our series, 'In the public interest: the role of the modern state.' It critically examines the evolving functions of the state in the UK, EU and USA. The piece emphasises that it is urgent that the prevailing neoliberal mould is...
The importance of the labour movement in tackling inequality
Professor Richard Wilkinson, Professor Kate Pickett
Think piece, 1 July 2014
Drawing on a range of evidence, this short Think Piece looks at the role of the labour movement in achieving a more equal society. The weakening of the labour movement during the last quarter of the 20th Century has had a significant impact on the ability of working people to...
State and finance in financialised capitalism
Professor Costas Lapavitsas
Think piece, 12 June 2014
This paper from renowned economist Prof Costas Lapavitsas explains that the structural problems within the UK and other mature economies that were brought to the surface during the crisis of 2007-9, are inherent to contemporary mature capitalism. He argues that the problems have to do, primarily, with financialisation - a...
How can the European left deal with the threat posed by xenophobia?
Think piece, 28 April 2014
This essay charts the rise of xenophobia as a Europe-wide phenomenon, which has become more of an urgent threat following the increase in popularity of far-right parties such as UKIP. The essay calls upon European progressives to take on far-right parties across the continent.
Without Social Europe there can be no Social Britain in our lifetime
Bernadette Ségol, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP
Think piece, 15 April 2014
This essay examines the concept of a Social Europe, a concept which put the values of collectivism, equality and solidarity, firmly at the heart of the EU. This paper was asks whether a left agenda for Europe could promote a renewed focus on securing a Social Europe and with it...
Think Big, Think Bold
Why the Left must aim for a radical Pan-European Green New Deal
Professor Yanis Varoufakis
Think piece, 10 April 2014
This essay examines the causes of the European financial crisis, and argues for a European Green New Deal to tackle the economic crisis in the Eurozone, address the domination of the financial sector across Europe and stem the growing influence of the far-right.
Can the European Union deliver for working people?
John Cryer MP, Carolyn Jones, Professor Jonathan Michie, Clare Moody MEP, Claude Moraes MEP
Think piece, 2 April 2014
As the European Elections approach, the media spotlight is increasingly focussing in on Europe and, more specifically, the European Union. In light of this, Class set out to make a weighty, yet balanced, contribution to the debate. We asked six key figures from across the labour and trade union movement,...
In Place of Fear
Narrowing health inequalities
Professor Danny Dorling
Think piece, 21 May 2013
This paper shows that the 1930s were the last time the population of Britain was as polarised in terms of their health as we are today. It was not simply the introduction of the NHS that halved inequalities in health in Britain between the 1930s and early 1950s. The overall...
In Land Revenue
The case for a Land Value Tax in the UK
Think piece, 8 May 2013
This paper argues that our current land economy does not serve us well. In response, it proposes a Land Value Tax for the UK. A Land Value Tax, targeted at unproductive wealth and speculation, could help deliver the house-building revolution – and the economic revival – our country desperately needs....
Achieving a Social State
What can we learn from Beveridge's Giant Evils?
Think piece, 25 February 2013
This first paper in the Social State series of work looks at what we can learn from Beveridge’s analysis of society and explores how his Giant Evils can be redefined for today.
Time to step in
Why it’s no good being hands-off with housing
Think piece, 2 November 2012
This paper argues that the market will fail to meet our housing challenges: the government must step in to ensure we build enough new homes, of the right sort, in the right places. The historic record shows that private house-building alone will not produce enough new homes, and furthermore a...
What would a socially just education system look like?
Professor Diane Reay
Think piece, 19 July 2012
The current policy status quo is one that valorizes choice whilst rarely recognizing that choices come with resources that remain very unequally distributed. Tinkering with an unjust educational system is not going to transform it into a just system. The building blocks of a socially just educational system lie outside...
Rising inequality and financial crises
Why greater equality is essential for recovery
Think piece, 10 May 2012
This Think Piece argues that if the UK is to achieve a sustainable recovery from the current financial crisis, the wage share needs to be restored to post-war levels and the great concentrations of income and wealth broken up.