A Brief History of Capitalism

The American University of Rome

Course Description

  • Course Name

    A Brief History of Capitalism

  • Host University

    The American University of Rome

  • Location

    Rome, Italy

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    ECO 211

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course provides students with an historical perspective about how capitalism developed from the industrial revolution to today global capitalism and how it adapted to different institutional and cultural contexts. In this respect we should talk of Capitalist systems, since there is not one pure form of capitalism as such. From a theoretical point of view, the course introduces students to institutional, new-institutional and evolutionary economics.  According to these frameworks, institutions matter because they regulate capitalism responding to varying local contexts, values, and interests. From an empirical point of view, specific case studies are compared to answer key questions such as: how can we define Capitalism to distinguish it from other economic systems (i.e socialism, mercantilism, etc.)? How can we identify different phases of Capitalism from its origins in the 18th century to now? Is Capitalism today different across countries (i.e. Europe, Africa, Asia, US)? What is the role of institutions in a Capitalist system and how can institutions change?

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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