Hilary Wainwright Associate

Our people — Fellow

Hilary Wainwright is a sociologist who earned her BPhil from Oxford University. She works as an independent activist-researcher and journalist. She is a founding editor of  Red Pepper. She has been a TNI fellow since 1986. 

Hilary Wainwright

Contact Hilary Wainwright

A socialist feminist activist, with strong connections to the labour movement, Hilary has been a long-time advocate of participatory democracy. She served as Deputy Economic Advisor to Ken Livingstone at the Greater London Council from 1982, where she founded the Popular Planning Unit of the Greater London Council. In 2017, she was invited to join the UK Labour Party’s ‘Community Wealth Building Commission’, involving inter alia trade unions, cooperatives, community organisations and progressive municipal representatives. Its mission was to build on the positive experience of Preston Council using public procurement to protect and improve local jobs, advance community well-being, and strengthen democratic control. Participatory democracy for community wealth building has been the red thread throughout Hilary’s activist life. She has documented resurgent democratic movements in many countries, analysing the lessons for progressive politics.

Hilary is Senior Research Associate at the International Centre for Participation Studies, Department for Peace Studies, University of Bradford; an Honorary Associate of the Institute of Development Studies in the UK; and member of the International Advisory Panel of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a trade union think tank in the UK. She has also been a visiting professor and scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles; Havens Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Todai University, Tokyo. The author of many articles and books, her latest publications include:


Honorary DLitt from the University of Huddersfield in 2007 for "services to journalism".

Areas of Expertise

New forms of political agency; democratisation of the state; participatory democracy; British politics; embedded knowledge of workers; intersectional movement-building; socialist feminism.

Media Experience

Hilary has been honoured for her services to journalism, and is a co-editor of Red Pepper magazine.. She has written for The Guardian, The Nation, New Statesman, openDemocracy, Jacobin (magazine), Il Manifesto, as well as appearing as a commentator on the BBC. @hilarypepper

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