Marxist Political Economy-1

Home/ Marxist Political Economy-1
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSLS2EC2144

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon/Winter Semester, Second year

Course Coordinator and Team: Arindam Banerjee, Satyaki Roy

Email of course coordinator: arindam[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in


Aim: This course provides the opportunity for advanced-level specialization of a student in the political economy analysis of a capitalist economy, which is one of the focus areas of the programmes. The course carries forward the study of Marxist political economy which is partially covered in the MA Economics core compulsory course on Theories of Value and Distribution (TVD). The approach followed would consist of two elements. The core of this would be an examination of the political economy of capitalism through a systematic study of Marx’s Capital (particularly Volumes II and III which are not in the TVD course). This would be coupled with parallel exploration of some debates and subsequent theoretical developments related to the ideas appearing in Capital.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Develop specialization in the Marxian understanding of the workings of a capitalist economic system.
  2. Acquire the capacity to read, understand and interpret classical Marxist writings including some of Marx’s own writings and absorb the associated agreements and disagreements.
  3. Develop the capacity to comprehend and articulate complex arguments and perspectives through their term papers and essays.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Value and social class
  2. Review of Volume I: Capitalist Property Relations, Value and Surplus Value; the Circuit of Capital; Accumulation and Primitive Accumulation
  3. Circuits of Capital, Turnover Time and Reproduction Schemes; Marx vs. Keynes on realization
  4. The Transformation of Values to prices – the “problem” and alternative solutions, Neoclassical and Neo-Ricardian critiques of Marx’s value theory.
  5. The falling rate of profit controversy.
  6. The role of credit in capitalism – monopoly capitalism, finance capital and the theory of imperialism.
  7. Marx and the Transition Debate
  8. Marx and the Analysis of Capitalist Crisis.
  9. Role of the state

Assessment Details with weights:

In-Class Presentation (20%): Students will make presentations on various aspects of Marxist Political Economy

Book Review (40%): Students will review one important book in the area of Marxist political economy, engaging with the arguments and relating them to the wider literature

Term paper (40%): Students will critically engage with the various facets of Marxist Political Economy and it departures from Classical Political Economy and neo-classical economics in a 2500 word paper.

Reading List:

  • K Marx, Capital Volumes 1, 2 and 3
  • K Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
  • K Marx, Grundrisse
  • K Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
  • F Engels, The Family, Private Property and the State
  • V I Lenin, The State
  • V I Lenin, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism
  • R Luxemburg: The Accumulation of Capital
  • N Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism
  • A Gramsci, Selections from Prison Notebooks
  • A Kollontai, The Social Basis of the Women’s Question
  • P Patnaik, The Value of Money
  • A Freeman, G Carchedi (eds), Marx and non-equilibrium economics
  • L Althusser and E Balibar, Reading Capital


  • R Hilferding, Finance Capital: A Study of the Latest Phase of Capitalist Development
  • N Poulantzas, Classes in Contemporary Capitalism
  • B Fine, Rereading Capital
  • B Fine, Theories of the Capitalist Economy
  • B Fine, The Value Dimension: Marx versus Ricardo and Sraffa
  • P Sweezy, M Dobb and C Hill, The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism
  • U Patnaik, The Agrarian Question in Marx
  • T H Aston and C H E Philpin (eds), The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe
  • A Saad-Filho (ed) Anti-capitalism: A Marxist Introduction