Fabian Arzuaga is a PhD candidate in the department specializing in political theory. He is also currently the coordinator of the Social Theory Workshop at the University of Chicago and a recurrent instructor in the “Self, Culture, and Society” Social Science sequence of the College.

His dissertation, “Liberal Individualism and the Critique of Political Economy,” surveys contemporary political theory as well as the work of Marx, J.S. Mill, and Adorno to argue for a “critique and rescue” of liberal individualism. By attempting to justify specific socio-economic institutions like the market and waged-work, theories of liberal individualism betray their own promise to realizing individual freedom, which remains the central value among the diversity of liberal thought. However, the dissertation argues this tension of liberal commitments is neither a function of poor theorizing, nor of ideological hypocrisy, but a reflection of the constitutive social contradictions of the modern capitalist world. Hence, in order to adequately explicate modern individuality’s contradictions and its political and social consequences, the dissertation argues that political theory must also be a self-reflexive social theory of prevailing socio-economic conditions; that is to say, a critical theory of society.

Fabian’s research interests also include theories of global economic transformations in the 20th-century, feminism and contemporary capitalism, and the politics of work and time.

A native of New York City, Fabian earned his BA at Vassar College, with a major in Political Science and a correlate in History.