NSSR’S Nancy Fraser Helps Brazil Make the Case for Marriage Equality


As the debate about marriage equality heats up in our own home state of New York, other states and nations are taking action on gay nuptials, and The New School’s thought leaders are playing an influential role in the global discussion.

On May 5th the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that the government must grant civil unions to same-sex couples, making Brazil the world’s most-populous nation to do so. In the finding, the court cited the work of Nancy Fraser, Henry A. & Louise Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at The New School for Social Research. Quoting Fraser’s 2000 article Redistribution, Recognition, and Participation: Toward an Integrated Conception of Justice,, in which Fraser writes of the politics of recognition [whose] goal, in its most plausible form, is a difference-friendly world, where assimilation to majority or dominant cultural norms is no longer the price of equal respect.,

Reflecting on her role in Brazil’s step towards marriage equality, Fraser says, I am as proud of this as of anything I’ve ever done. It helps assuage my chronic doubts about doing philosophy while the world burns. Maybe what I do is not so useless, after all.,

But The New School News respectfully doubts any student of contemporary political philosophy would ever doubt Fraser’s usefulness. After all, Fraser’s stature as one of the world’s leading political theorists is underscored by a host of honors she’s recently received. In March, Fraser inaugurated Cambridge University’s new chair, the Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Women’s Rights. She also currently serves as a Donald W. Gordon Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies in South Africa, and was recently named one of Berlin’s first-ever Einstein Visiting Fellows for 2010-2012.

Visit the NSSR website to learn more about Fraser and her colleagues in the philosophy and politics departments.