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Capital and Crises



This lecture course introduces certain key concepts in social and political theory through engagement with Marx’s Capital, Vol. 1.
By the end of the course students should have a deeper understanding of some core concepts in political and social theory, and have developed a clearer sense of a categorial framework that helps us better understand, and change, the social world we inhabit.

The course 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.

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

Admission requirements



Master students that started their studies in September 2016 can register for one seminar in uSis from Tuesday 6 December 10.00 hrs. until Tuesday 13 December 10.00 hrs.

For Master students that start their studies in February 2017 registration is possible from Tuesday10 January, 10.00 hrs. until 17 January, 10.00 hrs. Please send an e-mail with your full name, student number and preference for your seminar courses to the Institute Secretariat at instituutsbureaupolwet@fsw.leidenuniv.nl. 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 1 February 2017.