1. On what grounds would Marx and the later Marxists (Unit 4) critique the political economic ideas of the Marginalist (Unit 5) and later neoliberal (Unit 8) schools? Are their views convincing? How might the Marginalists and neoliberals respond? Whose views more accurately reflect contemporary political economic conditions and why?
2. Compare and contrast the economic sociology of Weber, Schumpeter, and Galbraith (Unit 6) with the political economic ideas of Keynes and Veblen (Unit 7). In what ways are their views mutually reinforcing and where and how do they differ? Can their views be synthesized in a coherent manner and are they convincing?
3. Consider the environmental impact of the Alberta Oil Sands, British Petroleum’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the 2011 Japanese tsunami and consequent nuclear meltdown. Fears of further environmental disasters and the consequences of climate change appear frequently in the popular press and remain the topics of hotly contested political and academic debates. What is the relationship between capitalism (or neoliberalism) and environmental degradation? Why do critics suggest that a “business as usual” approach will have severe socio-economic and political consequences? Describe the different effects ecological degradation may have on women, low-income earning regions, and racialized groups.