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Capital and Crises



Purpose: 1. By the end of the course students should have a deeper understanding of core concepts in Marx’s social and political theory, a keener appreciation of 19th century debates on political economy, and a clearer sense of the nature and origins of the crises of contemporary capitalism.

Content: This seminar introduces certain key concepts in social and political theory through a semester-long engagement with the first volume of Marx’s Capital. It offers an extensive introduction to the categorial framework developed by Marx, such as his conception of the commodity, the idea of value, the concepts of exploitation and class, and the phenomenon of imperialism. The course will develop these ideas without recourse to the jargon of Marxist economics, or the baroque intricacies of the so-called ‘dialectical method’, using only the toolkits of analytic philosophy.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, student presentations

Study Material

Avineri, S. Karl Marx: Social and Political Thought. Cambridge 1968.
Barone, C. Radical Political Economy. Sharpe M.E., 2004.
Cohen, G. A.. Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence. Princeton, 2000
Fine, B & Saad-Filho . Marx’s Capital. Pluto 2010.
Harvey, D. A Companion to Marx’s Capital. Verso, 2010.
Heinrich, M. An Introduction to the three volumes of Marx’s Capital. Monthly Review Press, 2004.
McNally, D. Against the Market. Verso, 1993.
Miller, R. Analyzing Marx. Princeton, 1984.
Roemer, J. A General Theory of Exploitation and Class. Cambridge, 1982.
Rosdolsky, R. The Making of Marx’s Capital. Pluto, 1977.
Rubin, I. I. Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value. Verso, 1998.
Weeks, J. Capital and Exploitation. Arnold, 1981.
Wolff, R. P. Understanding Marx. Princeton, 1984.
Wood, A. Karl Marx. Routledge, 2004.


10% participation, 20% presentations, 70% essays


Tuesday 3 February,15.00-17.00 hrs in SA23
Tuesday 10 February until 24 March, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A15
Tuesday 31 March and 7 April, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A24
Tuesday 14 April, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A33
Tuesday 21 April, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 5A41
Tuesday 28 April, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A33
Tuesday 12 May, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 6C03
Tuesday 19 May, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A15

  • no lectures on 5 May

Entrance Requirements



Master students that started their studies in September 2014 can register for one seminar in uSis from 10 December 12.00 hrs until 17 December 12.00 hrs.

For Master students that start their studies in February 2015 registration is possible from Wednesday 14 January 2015 12.00 hrs until Friday 23 January 2015 12.00 hrs. Please send an email with your full name, student number and preference for three seminars to the institute secretariat ( You will receive an auto-reply with a confirmation that we have received your e-mail. You will be informed about the seminars for which you have been registered before February 1.

Please note that elective seminars have a maximum capacity of 20 students and placement is subject to availability. Registration is on a first come first served basis.