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The Politics of Global Capitalism

Duration: Three Weeks


Featured events

Start of programme: Monday 30 June 2014

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

The global financial crisis. Trade wars. World poverty. Social resistance. Environmental degradation. All these complex issues are tied in some way to how the capitalist system is politically organised. This course offers you the toolkit to better understand the politics of the world economy and question who gains and who loses. Based on literature from the cross-disciplinary field of International Political Economy (IPE), the course examines important structures, processes, and outcomes in the recent history of capitalism. Debates are organised into three areas: (1) conceptual frameworks designed to illuminate major topical debates; (2) the post-war history of governing the world economy, including attention to finance, trade, and development; and (3) contemporary crises afflicting the capitalist order, including an examination of the ongoing financial crisis, social inequalities and activism, the political economy of the environment, and consideration of alternatives to our current predicament. You are asked to think critically about how capitalism is conceived and governed, in particular through evaluating issues of power and equity. There are two main questions addressed throughout the course: (1) why and how does global capitalism take its current form?; and (2) how does global capitalism impact on particular actors, including governments; businesses and other producers; civil society groups and other people?


Monday 30 June - Friday 18 July 2014

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and a river cruise on the Thames. A guided tour of historical Bloomsbury where SOAS is situated will help you find your way around the campus area. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends once you have registered for one of our courses.

Further details: www.internationalfriends.co.uk. Summer School students are also welcome to attend the wealth of activities hosted by the SOAS Students Union in the summer months.



An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 15 April 2014.
10% discount for SOAS Alumni.
20% discount for current SOAS students.
Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk for further information.


A tuition fee of £1250 will be charged per 3-week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.


A limited number of rooms will be available at International Hall which is located in the heart of Bloomsbury. You will be able to request a place once your application has been approved. The cost for 20 nights is £800, which includes breakfast every day. Please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk to reserve place.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £55 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment, once you have submitted your summer school application.


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and generally our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. However the summer courses remain non-accredited by SOAS. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol.

We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.


For more information, please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk.


The course will be delivered Monday - Thursday over the 3 weeks, in a combination of lectures and tutorials. In addition to classroom-based teaching and debate, the course features additional social activity, including a field trip to the City of London and relevant film screenings. The course instructor will also offer dedicated, generic essay and presentation skills sessions.

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course. Students will also be expected to deliver a 10 minute presentation on a topic related to the course at the end of the 3 weeks. 

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • understanding of major themes in the study of international political economy
  • understanding of theoretical traditions through which international political economy has been studied
  • understanding of the application of conceptual and theoretical material to empirical analysis

How to Apply

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS (www.ielts.org), 7 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in all subscores.
    • iBT 105+ with 22 in all subscores or 100 overall with no less than 25 in writing and no less than 22 in any other subscores.
    • Or equivalent.

Summer School Application Form (pdf; 779kb)

Application deadline for the summer school courses is 31 May 2014.

A Student's Perspective

You might not be able to find a department dedicated to your major... However, because SOAS has many courses that are interdisciplinary, you also might be able to find courses of your interests. For example, for SOAS does not have a dedicated philosophy department, I, a philosophy major, looked for courses in other departments that cover philosophical discourses. My experience here of studying Buddhism and Taoism was highly inspiring.

Dong-Kyung Lee, Korea University