Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Capitalist and liberal democratic systems, while being at their global climax in both the developed and developing worlds, are facing serious challenges: from the rising socio-economic inequalities, to the disturbing uncertainties in food, fuel and finance, to the looming threats of nuclear conflicts, trade wars/rivalries, political extremism, terrorism, global pandemics, and above all, climate change. Will global capitalism and Euro-centric modernity survive these crises? Will we be able to transition smoothly into more sustainable and resilient socio-ecological systems? Can new technological advances save civilization? Or do we need far more radical transformations and urgent responses at both the macro and micro levels? Is the end of 'organized life' now more imaginable than the end of capitalism? Is Life beyond Capital, Carbon, Constant growth and Consumerism possible or is this just a utopian dream? What are the plausible post-capitalist futures and how can they be realized?

This course attempts to answer these questions by investigating how the past and present major trends of change influence our future and how grassroots initiatives and movements strive to create future societies beyond dependence on capital, carbon, consumerism, growth and discrimination. More specifically, it provides us with key insights into the nature and future of capitalist globalisation for social justice, sustainability and development.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Evaluate major capitalist processes and transformations

2. Apply analytical frameworks to research major social and ecological problems caused by the expansion of capitalist relations.

3. Identify the effects of capitalist globalisation on economic growth, income distribution, poverty, education, health, social care, and the environment.

4. Critically evaluate neoliberal and post-neoliberal policy reforms and demystify myths about capitalism.

5. Examine post-capitalist alternative practices, systems, movements, models and agendas.


This course will first offer a critical perspective on the root causes of recent global changes and the mounting challenges to human civilisations. It will then help students develop a more future-oriented perspective by investigating the progressive alternative ways of transforming society beyond the dominant capitalist, colonialist, neoliberal and authoritarian modes of living. Using Hosseini’s Commonist Framework and Transversality Theory, the course will critically examine a broad range of such alternatives in terms of their capacities to create free, just, peaceful and self-sufficient futures. 


Topics are likely to include:

1. Contested meanings of capitalist globalisation;

2. Future of human civilisation under global capitalism

3. The nature and future of capitalism;

4. Global challenges posed by the capitalist ways of living to quality of life

5. Post-capitalist movements and forces

6. Post-capitalist alternatives such as eco-socialism, eco-feminism, eco-anarchism, economic democracy, new social democracy, post-growth economy, wellbeing economy, etc.

7. Commonism as a common platform for consolidating diverse progressive alternatives


This course replaces SOCA3420. If you have successfully completed SOCA3420 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level

Assessment items

Quiz: 5 small weekly online or in-class quizzes (15%)

Literature Review: Critical Review of Reading Materials (25%)

Annotated Bibliography: Annotated bibliography (20%)

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study Essay (40%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1



Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.