Call for Submissions
Handbook on Postcapitalist Political Economy

This Handbook aims to assemble the most prominent concrete experiences and theoretical models in postcapitalist political economy in one volume. Scholarship in this field is focused on elaborating, implementing, studying, and critically assessing systemic alternatives to capitalism.

Postcapitalist political economy brings together contributions from theoreticians and practitioners, going back as early as the utopian socialists of 18th century, whose aim is to overcome capitalism by proposing or carrying out large-scale alternative social systems. The field was heavily centered on the question of centralized economic planning for most of the 20th century. Nevertheless, in the 1970s and 1980s, two main schools of thought emerged that proposed alternatives to capitalism and authoritarian central planning: market socialism and democratic economic planning. The 21st century has seen a resurgence in debates on postcapitalist political economy, with several recent publications focusing particularly on updating and evaluating postcapitalist models of the two main schools. Unsurprisingly, issues related to technology, international markets, ecological breakdown and gender justice are now central to the debate. New models also appeared, drawing on past ones and proposing ways to overcome their limitations and contradictions.

Concomitantly, concrete experiments in postcapitalist economic organization have been proliferating in the last decades, varying in scope and scale. While the economic power of Zapatistas and Rojava’s autonomous administration span entire regions, for instance, recuperated entreprises in Argentina, communas in Venezuela and smaller-scale community/solidarity economy initiatives coexist with widely different economic logics. Postcapitalism is thus both emergent in practice and present in vibrant theoretical discussions, but the variety of models and experiments makes having a systematic appraisal difficult. This Handbook aims to provide a solid point of reference by retracing the evolution of the field and giving a good description of the current state of affairs, both for theoretical models and concrete experiments.


Structure of the book

Our objective is to create a handbook that can appeal to both undergraduate and early graduate students. The book chapters should explicate concrete experiments or models, presenting their potential as well as limitations. In order to keep the book accessible to our audience, analytical or theoretical aspects will not be heavily focused on. The book will thus serve as an introduction to various postcapitalist experiments and models to provide a comprehensive overview to students entering this field of study.

The book will consist of six sections, each covering an epoch in the field’s evolution. There will be 30 chapters in total, each focusing on one experiment or theoretical model.

Below is a preliminary list of sections and chapters with potential themes and topics. Please note that this is only a potential list, and we welcome any contributions that fit the proposed sections.

Section 1: Before 1917:

visions and utopia Utopian socialists in France, England, Germany and the US; utopian socialists experiments; Marx and the social republic.

Section 2: Central planning and really existing socialism

Central planning in the USSR and the Eastern Bloc; central planning in China; planning and self-management in Yugoslavia; central planning in Cuba; planning in Africa; planning in South America; planning in the capitalist core during and after WWII.

Section 3: Alternative visions to capitalism and central planning before the decline of the USSR

The planning in-kind of Otto Neurath; political economy of the second Spanish Republic (1936-1939); Anton Pannekoek’s council communism; Cornelius Castoriadis’ content of socialism; Murray Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism.

Section 4: Market socialism

Oscar Lange and the first vision of market socialism; Alec Nove and feasible socialism; Wlodzimierz Brus and Kazimierz Laski and post-soviet market socialism; David Schweickart and market socialism against capitalism; John Roemer and the future of socialism; the renewal of market socialism in the 2000s.

Section 5: Democratic economic planning

Pat Devine and Fikret Adaman’s Negotiated Coordination; Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel’s Participatory Economics; Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell’s Computerized Central Planning; Takis Fotopoulos’ Inclusive Democracy; David Laibman’s Multilevel Democratic Iterative Coordination; Daniel Saros’ General Catalog; Anitra Nelson’s Beyond Money; Simon Sutterlutti and Stefan Meretz’s Commonism.

Section 6: Current experiments in postcapitalism

Political economy of the Zapatistas; political economy of Rojava; political economy of Venezuelan communes; political economy of Marinaleda; political economy of Argentina’s recuperated enterprises; community economics.


How to submit a proposal

Bengi Akbulut, Mathieu Dufour, Audrey Laurin-Lamothe, and Simon Tremblay-Pepin will edit this Handbook. This team has been working in the Planning for Entropy research group since 2018 and has written various publications on Postcapitalist Political Economy, together or separately.

Each chapter should be 7,000 words (references and notes included), focus on one specific experience or model, and be more descriptive than reflexive or analytical.

Please submit a 500-word abstract of your chapter by August 31st, 2024, at: [email protected]