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Ken Spours


The new progressive politics

Progressive hegemony

Labour and beyond

The time has come for the New Progressive Politics to create a more equal, democratic and sustainable future for the UK and beyond.


Building a new progressive politics means more than electing a Labour Government, critical though this is. It involves creating the 'progressive campsite' where social and political forces, large and small find their place.  Labour can have its 'big tent', but that's still part of the pluralist political Glastonbury.


The era of conservative political hegemony is drawing to a close, but we are yet to achieve anything resembling a progressive hegemony.   Building dominant progressive political culture would involve a compelling future vision of a fairer UK with a high-skill green economy and a supportive 4th Industrial Revolution. It would also comprise an inclusive and alliance-based political strategy promoting democratic constitution change with a reformed voting system at the fore.  


There will, of course, be a key role for the Labour party. Starmer's Labour, as the largest progressive force, will need to develop an imaginative, democratic and open politics if it is to help transform UK politics.  

This website is intended as a platform for the exploration of key issues in the development of a progressive hegemonic politics in the UK.  

Discussion themes

Understanding the political adversary and the historical success of the Conservative Party.


​​The Just Transition and building a green economy.


​The Progressive Alliance to connect radical social movements and political parties. ​


Democratic political reform, including proportional representation.

Conceptual lens

The conceptual and theoretical approach involves a fusion of modern Marxist, ecosystem and technological thinking.

Gramscian political theory - Marxist political theory for the 21st Century.

Social Ecosystem Thinking - a social and spatial ecological conceptualizing of whole-system transformation.

The Organic Intellect - connecting vertical/specialist and horizontal/general knowledge production - 45-degree thinking for social and political innovation.

The Just Transition - linking the rapid movement to carbon net-zero to social and climate justice.


Socialising artificial intelligence and machine learning -  harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the service of progressive hegemony.

Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.


Ken Spours is Emeritus Professor of Post Compulsory Education at the UCL Institute of Education and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Capital Normal University, Beijing.  He is also an Associate of Compass, a democratic left think tank and pressure group.  

His theoretical perspective could be described as neo-Gramscian, involving a fusion of modern political Marxism and eco-technological thinking.

Ken's academic specialism is in the fields of upper secondary and further education and training and there is a page where you can find recent academic contributions.


He is also active in poverty reduction, being the Chair of Friends of Amani, Tanzania  -  a UK-based charity that supports the Amani Centre for the mentally disabled in Morogoro, Tanzania.

There is also a page on the Northern Pennines, a wild and beautiful part of England close to his heart and where he lives some of the time.


Ken is also a 'Mackem' - a Sunderland AFC supporter - Ha'way the Lads.





Prof. Ken Spours

UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL


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Recent publications

Mitigating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the further education sector - research for DfE and SAGE  - September 2021


Ken Spours, Paul Grainger, Carol Vigurs and Rachel France


Expand the Just Transition: the contribution of Further and Higher Education to achieve net zero and climate justice

Ken Spours (2021)

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