SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Principles of Marxist Political Economy

Module Code:
Module Withdrawn
Year of study:
Year 3

This module has been withdrawn starting from 2021/22. 

Please return to the Undergraduate Development Studies Module page for a full list of options running this academic year.

The main objectives of this module are to:

• Introduce students to Marxist political economy.
• Compare the Marxist approach with alternative theoretical perspectives on capitalism, its drivers, and its contradictions.
• Compare different approaches to key concepts in Marxian political economy.
• Examine critically the Marxist contributions to the study of development and contemporary capitalism.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the most important concepts, debates and problems in Marxist political economy.
  • Critically interpret economy issues, problems and debates in the light of Marxist methods, concepts and contributions.
  • Apply more development analytical and critical skills through the ideas discussed in the lecture and through individual study for research.
  • Enhance their communication and critical thinking skills through seminar discussion.

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting:  Coursework 100% (4000 word essay).

Suggested reading

Core Reading List:
  • Fine, B. (1980) Economic Theory and Ideology. London: Edward Arnold
  • Fine, B. and Saad-Filho, A (2010) Marx's Capital, 5th ed. London: Pluto Press.
  • Fine, B. and Saad-Filho, A (2013) The Elgar Companion to Marxist Economics. Aldershot: Edward Elgar.
  • Harvey, D. (1982) The Limits to Capital. London: Blackwell
  • Harvey, D. (2010) A Companion to Marx's Capital. London: Verso
  • Harvey, D. (2014) Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. London: Profile Books.
  • Howard, M.C. and King, J. (1989, 1991) A History of Marxian Economics, 2 Vols, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Milonakis, D. and Fine, B. (2009). From Political Economy to Economics: Method, the Social and the Historical in the Evolution of Economic Theory of Value, Detroit: Black and Red.
  • Weeks, J. (2010) Capital, Exploitation and Crises. London: Routledge.
Additional Reading:

Each week includes a wide ranging of additional reading by Karl Marx and other authors. The writings by Marx are always freely available on the web, and most of the additional reading too. The course is already established, and the Library does have sufficient provision to cater for the students.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules