Arts and Sciences (BASc)


Rethinking Capitalism

Module Leader: Prof Mariana Mazzucato. Please direct all module queries to Dr Joshua Ryan-Collins
Module code: BASC0037
Taught: Term 2
Lecture: Tuesday, 3-5pm
Seminars*: 11am-12pm on Thursday or 12-1pm on Thursday or 1-2pm on Thursday or 10-11am on Friday or 11am-12pm on Friday or 12-1pm on Friday
Module level: Level 5
Credit value: 15 credits
* Students are automatically allocated to a seminar class, so it is not possible to pick one. Students will only be permitted to change class if they have a clash with another class.

Western Capitalism is in crisis, with falling productivity, investment and living standards, widening inequality, financial instability and the growing threat of climate change. This module will provide students with a critical perspective on these challenges, with the goal of introducing students to the link between alternative theoretical frameworks in economics and alternative policy prescriptions. The module will be based on the textbook “Rethinking Capitalism”, edited by Mariana Mazzucato and Michael Jacobs and will feature guest lectures from the chapter authors who are global experts in their respective fields, combined with presentations by global policy makers (including in the UK government) working at the frontline of the following issues:

  • The role of the state in economic growth, investment and productivity
  • The economics of innovation and technological change
  • Fiscal policy
  • Money and monetary policy
  • Financialisation and financial instability
  • The economics of land and housing
  • Economic inequality
  • ‘Public value’ and evaluating public policy
  • Climate change and resource sustainability
  • Complexity and the economy

The module will help students develop their critical thinking in general and help them make the connections between theoretical problems and real world policy issues. It will provide an introduction to a range of different economics perspectives, including Neoclassical, post-Keynesian, ecological, evolutionary, Marxist and institutional economics theories and how their different assumptions link to different public policies.


  1. 1,200 word essay - 40%
  2. 15 minute seminar presentation - 20%
  3. Unseen 2-hour exam - 40%

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