[Journals]: Debate: Crisis, Race And Neoliberal Capitalism

Limited-time Open Access Feature


In the era of #blacklivesmatter, the nativist populism of the Trump campaign, and Citizens United, Critical Historical Studies presents a discussion of the nature of today’s political crisis and its relationship to the institutionalized social order of capitalism.


In the Fall 2015 issue of Critical Historical Studies, Nancy Fraser (New School of Social Research) offered an analysis of political crisis in today’s financialized capitalist society. Working with Jürgen Habermas’s 1973 book, Legitimation Crisis, she argued that to understand democracy’s current ills also requires understanding how capitalism “bores deep inside” the political realm.


Critical Historical Studies continues this conversation in the Spring 2016 issue with a response from Michael Dawson (University of Chicago), who argues that to speak clearly about crisis in the contemporary United States is to examine the problematic intersection of racial domination, patriarchy and capitalist exploitation. “What,” he asks, “is the relationship between the oppression of black bodies and the systematic economic exploitation and expropriation of black communities?” And, what then, is the nature of the crisis we face?


Together with a response from Nancy Fraser, this debate examines the perilous condition of political legitimacy in the US today. In doing so, it brings new attention to the intertwined roles of expropriated and exploited labor and the political status of racialized citizen-workers in historical as well as contemporary capitalist societies.


Open Access for a limited time


CHS volume 2 number 2 cover image


Nancy Fraser, "Legitimation Crisis? On the Political Contradictions of Financialized Capitalism," Critical Historical Studies vol. 2, no. 2 (Fall 2015)


CHS volume 3 number 1 cover image


Michael C. Dawson, “ Hidden in Plain Sight:  A Note on Legitimation Crises and the Racial Order,” Critical Historical Studies vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 2016)


Nancy Fraser, “ Expropriation and Exploitation in Racialized Capitalism: A Reply to Michael Dawson,” Critical Historical Studies vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 2016)




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