Marxian Political Economy

Economic Approaches:

Key assumptions and aspects:

  • Main concern: A classless society
  • Economies are made up of: Classes
  • Human beings are: Productive, creative and formed by their social context
  • Economies change through: Class struggle, capital accumulation and technological progress
  • Favoured methods: Dialectical method and historical materialism
  • Typical policy recommendations: Collectivising the means of production

Marxian political economy arose out of the attempt of Karl Marx to bring together English classical political economy, German Hegelian philosophy and French socialist thought. Humans are understood as creative beings who realize their ideas through their work. Within the capitalist system, the class struggle between workers and capitalists is dominant. The drive for private profit leads to continuous technological advances and accompanying economic instability. Since the existence of Marxian political economy, it has been one of the emblematic heterodox approaches in most capitalist societies and a mainstream approach in socialist economies. Furthermore, it has not only been an influential school of thought in economics – Marxian scholars can be found in every social science discipline.


  • Marxian Political Economy on Exploring Economics, from 2016. 
  • Rethinking Economics: An Introduction to Pluralist Economics by Liliann Fischer, Joe Hasell, J. Christopher Proctor, David Uwakwe, Zach W. Perkins, & Catriona Watson, from 2018, chapter 2. 
  • Economics: The User’s Guide by Ha-Joon Chang, 2014, chapter 4.
  • A Companion to the History of Economic Thought by Warren J. Samuels, Jeff. E. Biddle & John B. Davis, from 2003, chapters 10 and 28E. 
  • Routledge Handbook of Marxian Economics by David M. Brennan, David Kristjanson-Gural, Catherine P. Mulder, & Erik K. Olsen, from 2017.
  • Radical Political Economy: A Concise Introduction by Charles A. Barone, from 2004.