Introduction to scientific socialism

This course aims to provide an introduction to the scientific study of socialist philosophy, economics and politics. What is particular about the approach of this course is that it will be based on the scientific method, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. This essentially means that the positive theories analysed in this course will produce hypotheses about the observable world that are falsifiable, and that we will be able to test them against contending theories on the basis of empirical evidence. The current economic crisis and the avances in political economy and quantitative methods over the last decades have allowed political economists to reformulate some age-old questions, and brought the scientific study of socialism back to the forefront of today's political economy.

Payment required

You must pay fees for this course.

1. Introduction to socialism. 2. Introduction to the scientific method. 3. The philosophy of socialism: historical materialism. 4. The economics of socialism: the theory of surplus value and the laws of accummulation of capital. 5. The politics of socialism: the class struggle, the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the development of socialism.

Indicative reading: 

Newman, M. (2005). Socialism: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press. Further reading: Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1848). Manifesto of the Communist Party; Marx, K. (1867). Capital, volume I. The Process of Production of Capital; Engels, F. (1880). Socialism: Utopian and scientific. Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the twenty-first century.