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School of History

HST7703 - Capitalism and Political Thought

Module code: HST7703

Credits: 15
Semester: Spring

Module Convenor: Waseem Yaqoob

This course examines the pivotal role that capitalism has played in political thought from the early twentieth century to the present. It shows how a range of thinkers blurred the boundaries between political and economic analysis in order to reformulate key political concepts and variously to argue, for the maintenance, transformation or overthrow of capitalism. The course starts with a number of figures seeking to grasp the imperial and racial character of the global market system, before exploring how these arguments were transformed by total war, revolution and decolonisation. The course then turns to the ways in which questions of financialisation, inequality, automation and climate crisis came to shape how capitalism is understood. Thinkers studied include: W.E.B. Dubois, Rosa Luxemburg, John Maynard Keynes, W. Arthur Lewis, Eric Williams, Gunnar Myrdal, Joan Robinson, Friedrich Hayek, Silvia Federici and Thomas Piketty.

Assessment: Essay (4,000 words) 100%

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