Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics, New School for Social Research, New York
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:January‒June and October‒December 2013
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»Crisis, Critique, Capitalism: Re-reading Marx, Polanyi, and Habermas in the 21st Century«
In recent decades, critical theorists have largely abandoned the project of a »crisis critique« of capitalist society, aimed at conceptualizing the latter’s inherently self-destabilizing tendencies, its characteristic forms of domination and social struggle, and its prospects for emancipatory social transformation. Today, however, the need for such critique is more urgent than ever. Yet far from returning to earlier models, the project must be reconstructed in a form adequate to the 21st century. Eschewing a one-dimensional focus on the economy, today’s critical theory must conceptualize the interpenetration of that aspect with other fundamental dimensions of the present crisis–ecological, political, cultural and social-reproductive. Equally important, it must incorporate the insights of new paradigms of critical theorizing, above all feminism, postcolonialism, and ecological thought, without abandoning the classical aspiration to conceptualize capitalist society as a social totality. Guided by this project, I am revisiting three ambitious and powerful critiques of capitalist crisis: Karl Marx’s Capital, Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation, and Jürgen Habermas’s Legitimation Crisis. By synthesizing what in these works remains valid, by overcoming their respective blindspots, and by reconstructing their problematic aspects, I hope to contribute to a revival of crisis critique in the 21st century. (Nancy Fraser)
Funding of the stay:»Justitia Amplificata. Rethinking Justice − Applied and Global«
Scholarly profile of Nancy Fraser
Main areas of research:Social and political theory; feminist theory; contemporary French and German thought
Further academic activities:
- Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberalism and Beyond, London: Verso 2013. (French: Le féminisme en mouvements. Des années 1960 à l’ère néolibérale, Paris: La Découverte 2012).
- Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World, New York: Columbia University Press 2008.
- Adding Insult to Injury: Nancy Fraser Debates Her Critics, ed. by Kevin Olson, London: Verso 2008.
- (with Axel Honneth), Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange, London: Verso 2003.
- Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the »Postsocialist« Condition, New York: Routledge 1997.
- Feminist Contentions. A Philosophical Exchange, co-authored with Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, and Drucilla Cornell, New York: Routledge 1995.
- Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory, Oxford: Polity 1989.
Formerly co-editor of the journal Constellations. An international journal of critical and democratic theory, Nancy Fraser holds an international research chair in »Global Justice« at the Collège d’études mondiales in Paris. For the period 2010‒2014, she is Einstein Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Freie Universität, Berlin.