Sample Course Materials and Topics

Saint Mary’s University
Winter 2023

Labour and Development

This course functions like a weekly reading group and investigates key questions about labour in contemporary capitalism.  Labour, work, entrepreneurship, and its various interconnections are part and parcel of capitalism as we know it. As such, this course launches from the age-old debates between Adam Smith and Karl Marx surrounding the value of labour and its potential violence. We ask, are free labourers truly free? What does it mean to sell your labour and in what ways is capitalism exploitative? Through these analytical questions we will focus on a political economy approach that is open to multiple empirical and theoretical vantage points. Not only do we cover waged, unwaged, and forced forms of labour but we are also concerned with various sites and scales where labour extraction (and labour discipline) take place. Some topics include migrant work, prison labour, informal economies, and the various intersections with gender, race, and class.

Saint Mary’s University
Winter 2022

Race and Capitalism

Course Description:

This course is premised on Cedric Robinson’s key contribution that race and capitalism are intertwined and inseparable. The course is split in two halves with part 1 covering the major debates and theories of capitalism, race, and political economy and part 2 covering some empirical topics. Scholars like Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Ananya Roy, Patrick Wolfe, and others will provide useful building blocks for thinking about race and capitalism together. Empirical topics will range from migration and refugees, to gentrification, and environmental racism.

University of Manchester
Fall 2021

Global Political Economy of Migration
This course explores the political economy of displacement on international, national, and urban scales. In so doing, the course seeks to expand common-sense conceptions of migration governance to include the study of displacement within interrelated issues in political economy. Students will be introduced to a theoretical tool kit which they will later apply to weekly topics in the course.
Brief overview of the syllabus/topics

1. Introduction: Reading and Writing from the global North and South

  • Students are introduced to the methodology of a relational comparison.
  • Students read fundamental texts to ground them in global governance and political economy.

2. What is global displacement?

  • Students are introduced to texts that expand the definition of displacement to include the urban scale of analysis. Students are introduced to contemporary issues such as detention centres, prisons, and evictions as examples of displacement.

3. Theoretical Debates

  • Students will read key perspectives on neoliberalism (Historical-materialist, varieties of capitalism, and post-structuralist approaches) and relate these to displacement
  • Students will also familiarise themselves with theories surrounding the racial state.
  • The third theoretical component acts as an analytical frame for displacement as students will read seminal texts on racial capitalism.

4. Applications to Displacement

  • Students will read and debate contemporary issues in political economy such as migration, housing, labour, gender, sexuality, and environmental politics and relate these issues to their theoretical learning surrounding race and capitalism.

Queen’s University
Winter 2019

Dialectics of Development: Race & Capitalism

This course identifies race and capitalism as two prominent, but often non-conversant, modes of governance prevalent in discourses, policies, and the management of material realities of marginalized people in the Global North and South. This course combines approaches in Global Political Economy (GPE) and critical race studies and suggests that both historical-materialist and racial features influence social reality.  In so doing, the course suggests that many of today’s contemporary and complex scholarly issues (migration, climate change; gender and sexuality etc.) are better understood through the combined ontological features of racial capitalism.
Over the course of this seminar, we will examine both theoretical and empirical insights concerning the ways in which racial capitalism shapes international, national, and urban political economies in the global North and South. We will place the discursive constructions of the global North and South in tension and explore the ways in which this binary can be challenged. 

Co-taught Courses

University of Manchester

Introduction to International Political Economy
Level 3 Undergraduate Lecture Course
Introduction to International Politics
Level 1 Undergraduate Lecture Course