Roberto Mangabeira's philosophical and political writings offer a comprehensive view of our humanity, and present a path by which humankind and each individual can hope to rise to a greater life.
Dr. Roberto Mangabeira Unger has developed his views across many fields -including social, political, legal, and economic theory- in an effort to realize the modernist project of the world made and imagined. His theories of false necessity and empowered democracy offer one of the only comprehensive alternatives to neo-liberalism today.
He has further radicalized the thought of pragmatism, and his work in legal theory helped form the Critical Legal Studies movement and disrupt the methodological consensus in law schools. His political activity helped bring about democracy in Brazil, and culminated with his appointment as the country's Minister of Strategic Affairs in 2007.
At the root of Unger's thought is the conviction that the world is made and imagined. His work begins from the premise that no natural, social, political, or economic arrangements underlie individual or social behavior. Property rights, liberal democracy and wage labor - these are all historical artifacts that have no necessary relation to the goals of free and prosperous human activity.
His books have sought to explore the ideals of human social, political, and economic activity, and to free them from their institutional chains; the market, the state, and human social organization should not be set in predetermined institutional arrangements, but need to be left open to experimentation and revision according to what works for the project of the empowerment of humanity.
Unger has long been active in Brazilian oppositional politics. He directed the presidential bids of Leonel Brizola and Ciro Ferreira Gomes, ran for the Chamber of Deputies, and twice launched exploratory bids for the Brazilian presidency. He also was one of the founding members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and drafted its manifesto.
Roberto Mangabeira Unger holds a Law degree from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and a research Ph.D from Harvard University. He is currently working on social and developmental projects in the Brazilian state of Rondônia.