Alternatives to Capitalism

Spring 2019
OlympiaStudy Abroad
Olympia +
study abroad option
Class Size: 25
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Peter Dorman
economics, political economy, statistics

There are many problems with capitalism, but is an alternative economic system feasible and worth striving for? After more than a century of theoretical studies and practical experiments, we know a lot about this question, but there is still more to learn. This is an advanced program for students with a background in economics, political economy, and related fields. It draws on theory and history to examine post-capitalism in detail, to see how a modern, complex economy can be organized on an alternative basis. It takes seriously all relevant theoretical perspectives, including Marxism, anarchism, mainstream economics, Austrian economics, and feminism, and emphasizes real-world experience. Program work will include lectures, guest speakers, seminars, films, workshops, oral reports, and a major research project examining a past or current non-capitalist experiment.

Study Abroad: There will also be a three-week study abroad option at the Mondragon cooperative network in the Basque region of Spain. Credit equivalencies will be offered in comparative economic systems, political economy, and modern political history.

Study abroad:

All questions regarding payment should be directed to the teaching faculty of this program.

1.            Special Expenses: TBD  (Estimated expenses students will cover themselves)

2.            Required Student Fee:  TBD   (Fee covers group expenses for services organized by college)

3.            Administrative Fee:   $400 (Nonrefundable deposit to cover administrative costs of running study abroad)

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

social sciences and social justice advocacy and activism.


Credits per quarter


A prior background in economics, particularly the equivalent of introductory microeconomics, is required. Students must have previous exposure to the concept of resource allocation and the (current) role of markets in the U.S. economy. A background in modern history and politics as well as radical political economy is desirable, but does not substitute for microeconomics. Students with questions about how to meet this condition should contact the instructor as far in advance as possible.

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

$90 for an overnight field trip.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 25

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

2018-09-20Study Abroad details added