Classical Theories of Political Economy

Classical Theories of Political Economy
Location: 2040 VALLEY LSB
TuTh 2-330P

Beverly Crawford
University of California at Berkeley
127 Stephens
Office Hours: Thurs. 4-5 (Crawford)

A few of the Dead White Men and one woman whose theories we will read.......


Assignments and Study Questions


Terms and Conditions (Course Requirements)

Your Instructor

lecture outlines

statement on Plagiarism

Note: This course syllabus presents a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary. Later sessions, in particular, may be revised to incorporate newer material, i.e. a new financial crisis, climate change calamity, crisis, etc. 

PE 100  Schedule of Readings and Lectures

Introduction  August 23: Central questions of political economy

Part I: The Political Economy of Community

 Augustr 28/ Aug. 30/ September 4/Sept. 6. Human Nature, the State of Nature, and The Social Contract: The Community Principle in governing allocation

August 28

August 30

  • Hobbes in Sommerville 141-148 and 160-165 (top)
  • Thucydides: Melian Dialogue

September 4

study break poems: "Noble Savage"

September 6

recommended video

recommended reading: Friedrich Engels, Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Chapter III

Sept. 11/13/18/20 Four Views on defining the Community Principle for distributing wealth and power

September 11: The Distribution of Power and the role of wealth: The Classical Perspective

  • Plato The Republic in Sommerville pp. 17-45
  • Aristotle Politics in Sommerville pp. 59-100

recommended: Aristotle Politics Book I (on the economy)

Study break poem: "All You Undisturbed Cities" by Reiner Maria Rilke

Sept. 13 The Distribution of wealth: Fairness and Morality

Sept. 18 The Distribution of Power: The General Will (Beth's Birthday!)

  • Rousseau in Sommerville, pp. 215-238

Sept 20 The Greatest Good For the Greatest Number

September 20: In-Class Quiz

Part II: The Political Economy of Freedom:

September 21st: Last Day to Drop/Add

Week 6 Sept 25/27
Sept. 25 Why Freedom should trump Comminity as a Distribution And Governing Principle

  • John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty", Sommerville pp. 302-341
  • Thomas Jefferson, "Declaration of Independence" Sommerville pp. 239-45

 poetry break: Beautiful Individuality by Friedrich Schiller (who died the year before John Stuart Mill was born)

Sept. 27   Private Property as the Basis of Freedom:

  • Locke Second Treatise on Civil Government Chapter 5 in Sommerville 175-178 ,

    Week 7 Oct.2/4     Creating the Market to uphold the "Freedom" Principle Part I

October 2 


  • Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations Book III, Chapters 2-4

October 4  

First Newspaper Assignment Due in Class October 4

  •  Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations, Introduction Book I, Chapters 1-3, 8

Week 8 Oct. 9/11  How the Market creates and preserves Freedom Part II --- Free Trade

Oct. 9   

Week 9 Oct. 16/18  Three Limitations on Freedom:
Oct. 16   Morality: Our responsibilities toward others. Are they more important than self interest?

Oct. 18  Preserving Community: Should we limit the market or do away with it altogether?

Oct. 23 Midterm

Oct. 25 Freedom, Community, Liberalism, and Conservatism: An Introduction to Mary Wollstonecraft


Part III The Political Economy of Equality

Oct. 30 Wollstonecraft and Marx: The Illusions of Liberalism--The Illusion of Freedom for Women and The illusion of human equality

Nov. 1 Marx: The Origins of Inequality -- Exploitation and the Contradictions of Capitalism


Nov. 6  Marx: The fruits of inequality--Alienation, and The Principle of Equality--Communism


Part IV: Nationalism:  The Political Economy of Community in a global context

Nov. 8  Theories of Nationalism (Part I) 

Nov. 13 Theories of Nationalism (Part II)

Nov. 15 Limiting Freedom for the Sake of Community: Theory of Economic Nationalism in Europe

Nov 20 Having it both ways: Reconciling Nationalism and Free Trade

Second Newspaper Assignment Due in Class November 20

Part V: Nationalism and Freedom run amok

Thursday, November 22, 2012 --Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov. 27 Imperialism  

Nov. 29  Summary and Conclusions

Classes End  Friday, Nov. 30, 2012
Dec. 6 2-3 pm. Review Session  

Dec. Final Examination TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2012   8-11A