The Summer School in Capitalism, Democratic Solidarity and Institutional Design took place from June 24 through June 26, 2019 in Hamilton, Ontario at McMaster University. This website contains video recordings of the summer school presentations and supporting material, such as bibliographies, lecture slides, and working draft papers.

This event was animated by the premise that phenomena such as Trump, Brexit, and similar ruptures across the globe are largely driven by pathologies endemic to the current configuration of capitalist political economies, particularly stark inequalities of income and wealth and the non-responsiveness of nominally democratic political systems.

The core objective of the summer school and this website is to contribute to a particular approach to political philosophy that we might refer to as solidaristic institutional design. This approach seeks to clarify the content and cogency of the value of democratic solidarity, identify the impediments to this value’s realization, design institutions and policies that promise to enable political communities’ realization of this solidaristic value as well as the political programs necessary for implementing such designs. Other objectives include:

  • Clarifying the parameters and key concerns of this line of research and further shaping its distinct identity; 

  • providing an opportunity for established scholars to develop and discuss new contributions to this area, and;

  • engaging with and informing the broader community in service of forging the political will necessary to tame capitalism’s oligarchic and inegalitarian tendencies.

Summer School Faculty

Mark Blyth (Brown University, Political Science)

William A. Edmundson (Georgia State University, Philosophy and Law)

Robert Hockett (Cornell University, Law)

Stephanie Mudge (University of California-Davis, Sociology)

Stefan Sciaraffa (McMaster University, Philosophy)

Alan Thomas (University of York, Philosophy)