Sociology of capitalism


The aim of this seminar is to look beyond the boundaries commonly drawn between economic sociology, comparative political economy, and political sociology. The focus is on the historical dynamics of and contemporary developments in capitalism, understood as a system of organization in which exchanges are driven by the quest for material profit.

Three objectives are set. The first is to show that capitalism is the product of complex institutional arrangements, involving not only strictly identified economic organizations but also activities developed in other spaces. The second objective is to reflect on the resulting processes of commodification in different sectors (education and research; health; agriculture and food). Finally, the aim is to clarify how capitalism can survive by combining with models of organization or mobilization that appear to call it into question.


  • Beckert J., Capitalism as a System of Expectations Toward a Sociological Microfoundation of Political Economy, Politics & Society, 41(3), p. 323-350, 2013.
  • Boltanski L. et Chiapello E., Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Paris, Gallimard, 1999.
  • Boyer R., Capitalism strikes back : Why and what consequences for social sciences?, Revue de la régulation. Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, no 1, 2007.
  • Clift B., Comparative political economy. States, Markets and Global Capitalism, Londres, Plagrave, 2014.
  • Streeck W., How to Study Contemporary Capitalism, Archives Européennes de Sociologie, LIII, no. 1, 1-28, 2012.

In brief

Year Fifth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

Teaching activitySeminar


Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Roger Antoine [+]