Democracy, Participation and Capitalist Crisis: An Interview with Nancy Fraser

Professor Nancy Fraser argues that the political arena is important because it is here that collective regulatory powers are exercised.

Nancy Fraser, Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the New School for Social Research.

Listen to the full conversation on the Perspectives Journal podcast, available to subscribe on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music, and all other major podcast platforms.

This conversation with Nancy Fraser explores her work on the crises of capitalism, democracy, and participation. She is interviewed by Nick Vlahos, Deputy Director at the Center for Democracy Innovation, and Adrian Bua, Marie Curie-Sklodowska Fellow at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ahead of their forthcoming co-edited special volume of the journal Democratic Theory on “How to Democratize the Economy” that seeks to establish a closer conversation between the fields of democratic theory and critical political economy.

Fraser has argued that much scholarship in political science and democratic theory on these issues is hampered by “politicism”: an inclination to view the political in separation from other social spheres, which fails to appreciate the structural nature of contemporary crises. Fraser argues that the political arena is important because it is here that collective regulatory powers are exercised, however it needs to be situated within a broader understanding of the social totality to understand how it is affected by crisis dynamics in other spheres and how it might contribute to attenuating, or resolving, these.

The conversation begins by exploring these arguments in relation to Fraser’s recent work on the critique of capitalism, and then traces how this relates to her work on the public sphere, participatory parity, and utopian thought.

Works Cited

  • Brown, Wendy. 2019. In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West. Columbia University Press.
  • Crouch, Colin. 2017. Can Neoliberalism be Saved from Itself? Social Europe Edition
  • Fraser, Nancy. 1995. “Recognition or redistribution? A critical reading of Iris Young’s justice and the politics of difference.” Journal of Political Philosophy 3 (2): 166-180
  • Fraser, Nancy. 1997. “A Rejoinder to Iris Young.” New Left Review 1, 223, May-June
  • Fraser, Nancy. 1997. Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the Post-Socialist Condition. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Fraser, Nancy. 2012. “On Justice: lessons from Plato, Rawls and Ishiguro.” New Left Review 74.
  • Fraser, Nancy. 2014. “Behind Marx’s Hidden Abode.” New Left Review 86, March-April.
  • Fraser, N. 2022. Cannibal Capitalism: How our System is Devouring Democracy, Care and The Planet. Verso
  • Polanyi, Karl. 1944. The Great Transformation. Farrar & Reinhardt.
  • Streeck, Wolfgang. 2014. “How Will Capitalism End?” New Left Review, 87, May-June.
  • Streeck, Wolfgang. 2016. How will Capitalism End? London: Verso.
  • Streeck, Wolfgang. 2017. Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism. Verso.
  • Young, Iris Marion. 1997. “Unruly Categories: A Critique of Nancy Fraser’s Dual Systems Theory.” New Left Review 1, 223, March-April.

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