SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Capitalism, Crisis and the Neoliberal State

Summer School

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • How to Apply


Featured events


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Session 2: 2 July -  20 July 2018

Programme Description 

Financial crises. Trade wars. World poverty. Austerity politics. Right-wing populism. Resistance, revolutions and social change. All these complex issues – which profoundly shape the lives of nations and individuals – are tied in some way to how the global capitalist system is politically organised. This course offers the tools to question who gains and who loses and how to better understand the politics of the world economy. Based on literature within the larger field of political economy, the course examines the crucial structures, processes, and outcomes in the recent struggles over neoliberal capitalism.

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Capitalism, Crisis and the Neoliberal State Summer School

The course is organised into three parts. First, we will unmask how the current neoliberal period can be understood in relation to the longer history of capitalism, before exploring analytical models on the connections between the state and the market. Second, we will interrogate key themes for understanding policy practices linked to neoliberalism, including the growth of the financial industry, global trade, and international development. Third, all these debates come together to explore forms of advocacy against neoliberalism, including attention to imperialism, austerity, authoritarianism, and potential future alternatives within and beyond the capitalist system. In addition to classroom-based teaching and debate, the course features additional social activity, including a fieldtrip to the City of London and relevant film screenings.

Tutor Information

Dr Matthew Eagleton-Pierce, Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy

Dr Eagleton-Pierce’s research interests cover a number of areas in political economy, but are mainly focused on (1) the history and contemporary forms of neoliberalism, and (2) the political economy of global trade. Matt also has strong interests in the conceptual analysis of power and the application of the thought of Pierre Bourdieu to world politics. His first monograph, titled Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. He is also the author of the recent Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Routledge, 2016), which seeks to critique the common vocabulary associated with neoliberal notions and policies. His current research is focused on two areas: (1) the political economy of managerialism; and (2) the relationship between expertise and civil society groups in the recent history of trade policy struggles. Matt previously taught at the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Exeter. He is a Member of the Senior Common Room at St Antony's College, Oxford. He holds a DPhil in International Relations, also from St Antony's College, Oxford.

Dr Feyzi Ismail, Senior Teaching Fellow

Dr Feyzi Ismail has degrees in Philosophy and Social Policy, and completed her PhD in Development Studies at SOAS, where she conducted research on the relationship between NGOs and the left parties in Nepal. She has taught at SOAS, UCL, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and Ruskin College. Her research interests include NGOs and social movements, alternatives to neoliberalism and imperialism, and politics and development in Nepal and South Asia. She is on the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council.

Tuition Fees

A tuition fee of £1600 will be charged per 3-week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


20% discount for our partner institutions
50% discount for current SOAS students


Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. 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.

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and an optional river cruise on the Thames for a small additional charge. Details about how to book will be communicated to you once you are registered. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends.


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form.


Contact hours: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-3pm, and 2 hours on one specified Friday over the 3 weeks. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc). 

Optional activities: The Summer School office will arrange various social activites throughout the 3 weeks. On spcified Fridays there will be a range of optional activities for students to get involved with, providing a taste of SOAS life on campus and nearby places of interest.

Week 1: Neoliberalism and the State

  • Historicising Neoliberal Capitalism
  • Neoliberalism Take 1: Rolling Back the State
  • Neoliberalism Take 2: Rolling Out the State

Week 2: The Meaning of Neoliberalism

  • Financialisation Takes Hold: Manias, Crashes, and the Everyday
  • Trade: From the WTO to Mega-Regionals
  • Development and its Discontents: From Structural Adjustment to Good Governance

Week 3: Beyond Neoliberalism

  • Neoliberalism, Imperialism and Democracy
  • Austerity, Authoritarianism and its Consequences
  • Alternatives to Neoliberalism


Fieldtrip to the City of London. The tour will encompass visiting, or passing by, the following City institutions: St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Stock Exchange, Smithfield Market, Mansion House (personal guided tour), the Bank of England Museum, Bloomberg London (personal information session), and 30 St Mary’s Axe (the Gherkin). 

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.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
  • Understand major analytical frameworks used for explaining the political economy of neoliberal world capitalism;
  • Understand key thematic policy concerns involving finance, trade, and development; and
  • Understand forms of advocacy against practices of neoliberalism, including attention to imperialism, austerity, and discussions of potential futures.
Suggested reading material:
  • Boltanski, L. and Chiapello, E., The New Spirit of Capitalism (London: Verso, 2007).
  • Dardot, P., and Laval, C., The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society (London: Verso, 2013).
  • Davies, W., The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition (London: Sage, 2014).
  • Duménil, G. and Lévy, D., The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011).
  • Eagleton-Pierce, Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).
  • Harvey, D., A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Jones, S. D., Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).
  • Mirowski, P. and Plehwe, D., The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009).
  • Peck, J., Constructions of Neoliberal Reason (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
  • Saad-Filho, A. and Johnston, D. (eds), Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader (London: Pluto Press, 2005).
  • Streeck, W., Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism (London: Verso, 2014).
  • Wacquant, L., Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009).


How to Apply

Applications Now Open! Click to apply

Entry Requirements

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

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
    Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
    • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
    • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
    • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
    • Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
    • Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject based courses with English language support.

Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

15 June 2018

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