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International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School

Every year since 1991, York University has hosted the International Political Economy and Ecology (IPEE) Summer School organized by the Graduate Programs in Environmental Studies, Geography (Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change) and Politics (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies). Professor Leo Panitch of the Department of Politics, who passed away in late 2020, was among the founders of the IPEE Summer School, an event that presents a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for graduate students at York – but also for students and activists across Canada and beyond – to investigate a salient issue within the field of political economy and ecology.

International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School

Racial Capitalism: From Slavery to Trumpism

Guest Instructor:
Professor David McNally, Cullen Distinguished Professor of History and Business Department of History, University of Houston

Course Director:
Professor Heather MacRae, Department of Politics, York University

This course examines the concept of racial capitalism from both historical and theoretical angles. It investigates the multiple origins of theories of racial capitalism, beginning with writings from South Africa in the 1970s. It brings these into conversation with parallel reflections from the Caribbean and the United States. At the same time, it explores the multilayered theoretical inflections of racial capitalism in relation to feminism, Marxism, Indigenous Studies, and the Black Radical Tradition. From a historical perspective, racial capitalism will be analyzed in connection with New World slavery, settler colonialism, the “primitive accumulation” of capital, gender and social reproduction, and the rise of right-wing populism and far-right movements in late neoliberalism. We will also consider the use of racial capitalism as an organizing and strategic framework for movements for indigenous liberation, police abolition, anti-colonial struggle, and anti-racist socialism. Foundational texts from John Locke and Karl Marx will be read alongside the work of theorists such as Neville Alexander, CLR James, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Sylvia Wynter, Robin D.G. Kelley, Joanne Barker, Cedric Robinson, Jennifer Morgan, and others.

Professor David McNally is an academic-activist and the NEH Cullen Distinguished Professor of History and Business at the University of Houston. He was previously a professor of Political Science at York University, and was chair of the Department of Political Science for several years. He holds his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. from York University.

Professor McNally specializes in the history and political economy of capitalism. He is the author of seven books and over 60 scholarly articles on issues of race, migration, gender and social reproduction in the development of global capitalism. Professor McNally has won the 2012 Paul Sweezy Award for his book Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance (2010), and the 2012 Deutscher Memorial Award for Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism (2011). Professor McNally has also authored Political Economy and the rise of Capitalism (1988), Against the Market: Political Economy, Market Socialism and the Marxist Critique (1993), Bodies of Meaning: Studies of Language, Labor, and Liberation (2000), and Another World is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism (2001). Professor McNally's latest book, Blood and Money: War, Slavery, Finance, and Empire (2020) is now being translated into German.

He has a long history of involvement with and support for social justice movements and organizations.

The IPEE Summer School invites applications from graduate students and other interested individuals.

Application procedures for the IPEE Summer School vary, depending on whether or not you intend to take the course for academic credit.

The deadline to apply is April 17, 2023.

Application Procedures

1. Students intending to take the Summer School for academic credit.
The academic credit value for the IPEE Summer School is 3.0 credits.

1.1 Ontario Graduate Students, including York University Graduate Students

  1. Fill out this form 2023 International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School York University
  2. Non-York students must file an Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Application form (available from your home university) and send it to

1.2 Graduate Students from Outside Ontario (Canadian and International)

  1. Fill out this form 2023 International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School York University
  2. Graduate students from outside Ontario should discuss with their own Graduate Program whether they must register for formal credit at York to receive credit at their own university. Should you be admitted to the Summer School, you will need to register for formal credit as a Special student and send both your undergraduate and graduate official transcripts to the Office of Admissions at York University).

2. Students who are not seeking academic credit for the Summer School

  1. Fill out this form 2023 International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School York University
  2. Should you be admitted to the Summer School, you must fill out a registration form which will be provided to you at a later date.
    Fees: For all students who are not seeking academic credit the fee for the Summer School is CDN $600 (payable to York University at the time of enrolment).

Admission Procedures

The number of participants in the course will be limited to 30. Places are reserved for York Students from the sponsoring graduate programs in Political Science (LAPS), Geography, and Environmental Studies (EUC), but it does not guarantee admission.

Course Information

The dates of the course are:

  • June 5 to June 16 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm, EST time)
  • Ross South 638 (Verney Room)

A list of required readings and details of written assignments will be available before the class begins.

For more information, please contact

YearGuest Speaker(s)Theme
1991Eric HelleinerGlobal Finance and the Emerging World Order
1992Robert BoyerPost-Fordism
1993Saskia SassenGlobal Cities
1994Elmar AltvatarEconomy + Ecology
1995Vandana ShivaSustainability in a Turbulent World
1996Alain LipietzThe Planner After Fordism: Ecology, Democracy, Internationalism
1997Hilary Wainwright
Diane Elson
After the New Right: New Lefts North and South
1998Warren MagnussonSocial Movements and the Global City
1999Mike DavisThe Political Economy of Disaster: From Victorian Famines to Postmodern Apocalypses
2000Peter MarcuseGlobalizing Cities/Partitioned Worlds
2001Patrick BondChallenging Capitalist Globalizations: Targets, Opportunities, Contradictions
2002Tony ClarkeBlue Gold: Unpacking the Political Ecology of the Emerging Global Water Crisis
2003Dick BryanGlobal Capital and National Identity
2004Eric SwyngedouwDelightful Perversions of Glocalization: Nature, Space and Scale
2005Alex Demirovic
Joel Kovel
Joan Martinez-Allier
Ariel Salleh
Ecology, Imperialism and the Contradictions of Capitalism
2006Aijaz AhmedImperialism of Our Time
2007Alfredo Saad-FilhoDevelopment under Neoliberalism: Value, Money, Accumulation, Alternatives
2008Gustavo EstevaBeyond development and Globalization: Autonomous Movements, Indigenous Knowledges and Food Sovereignty in Latin America
2009Ronald Labonte
Rene Loewenson
Ted Schrecker
Social Injustice is Killing People: the Political Economy of Health
2010Nik TheodoreLabour Markets Under Late Neoliberalism: Restructuring, Regulations and Resistance
2011Adam HarmesNew Constitutionalism and Global Economy
2012Adam HaniehPolitical Economy of the Arab Spring: Crisis, Capitalism and Revolt
2013Nik HeynenRadical Food and Hunger Politics in the City
2014Jamie GoughLocalism in a Neoliberal World: How Do Right, Centre and Left Use the Local Scale?
2015Don MitchellMean Street: Class Struggle, Capital Circulation and Public Space
2016Glen CoulthardResurgencies: Settler-Colonialism and Radical Indigenous Politics
2017Nancy PelusoViolent Political Ecologies: Resources, Labour, Transformation
2018——(CUPE strike)
2019Susanne BergeronThinking Neoliberal Development Otherwise
2020——Cancelled due to COVID-19
2021Robin D. G. KellyFreedom Dreams: Approaching the Transnational Political Economy of Race
2022Libby PorterOn Land: Property, Place and Belonging under Settler-Colonial Urbanism
2023David McNallyRacial Capitalism: From Slavery to Trumpism

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Political Science at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.