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Capitalism and its Alternatives (PO240)

Mainstream political discourses often allude to the fact that, in the context of globalisation, there is little choice but to pursue particular kinds of policies. Critical discourses in political economy, on the other hand, have often spoken of the need to overthrow the hegemony of capitalism in favour of some alternative to it. This module scrutinises the way in which discourses about capitalism might challenge or reinforce it. We aim to illustrate the complexity involved in identifying 'capitalist' and ‘non-capitalist ' forms of social, political, and economic relations, consider the processes through which the transformation of these social relations might occur, and to introduce and critically discuss examples of both real and imagined alternatives to capitalism.

Module aims

  • To scrutinise claims that there is no alternative to liberal market capitalism
  • To scrutinise critiques of liberal market capitalism and its alternatives
  • To develop an understanding of various theories of social, political, and economic transformation
  • To examine various alternative capitalist and non-capitalist forms of social and economic organisation in practice
  • To develop student’s research, writing and presentation skills