You are here

After Capital

After Capital

  • Couze Venn - Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

April 2018 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The present crisis of capitalism has a history. A history of the private accumulation of wealth through property regimes which allow increasing commodification and the privatisation of resources: from land to knowledge and even to life itself. Understanding that history may allow us to imagine alternatives after Capital which are no longer private but common.

After Capital explores this history, showing how the economy is linked to environmental damage, climate change, resource depletion, and to massive inequality. It takes the reader from liberalism to neoliberalism, from climate change to the Anthropocene, and shows how this history is inextricably the history of colonialism. It is a rich and detailed narrative of capitalism over the last 200 years, that explains its texture and its neoliberal endgame.

This discussion frames speculation on what postcapitalist societies could be, with regimes of private accumulation replaced by a politics and ethics of a democratic and ecologically- grounded Commons.


Introduction: The State of the World: Convergent Crises
Chapter 1: New Mechanisms of Dispossession. Property, Inequality and the Debt Society.
Chapter 2: In the Shadow of Tipping Points: The Political Economy of Climate Change.
Chapter 3: Colonialism, Dispossession and Capitalist Accumulation A Decolonial History of the Present.
Chapter 4: From Liberalism to Neoliberalism: A Dissident Genealogy.
Chapter 5: Towards a World in Common.
Chapter 6: New Foundations for Postcapitalist Worlds.

This extraordinary work synthesises, extends and originates a vast range of scholarship and critical thought. In doing so, it offers the most concise yet most comprehensive account of the crisis of our times, and of the very nature of capitalism as such, to have been produced for many years. Couze Venn is one of the great unsung intellectual heroes of our age; how many other thinkers are able to synthesise post-structuralist philosophy and postcolonial theory with Marxist political economy and critical ecology, without a trace of superficiality in their approach to any of these sources? How many would even dare to try? This is an invaluable book for anyone who wants to think politically about the state of the world today, inside or outside the academy, in any discipline.

Jeremy Gilbert, University of East London.

Jeremy Gilbert
University of East London

After Capital takes the risky path that our bleak circumstances demand. This thoughtful and learned intervention boldly spells out protocols for a new way of living. Moving between critique and urgent, unsentimental speculation, Couze Venn identifies the novel habits required to sustain life beyond the war, waste and squalor of contemporary capitalism.

Paul Gilroy, Kings College, University of London.

Paul Gilroy
Kings College, University of London.

A tour de force. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this book- not only for the present but for many generations to come.

Valerie Walkerdine. Cardiff University.

Valerie Walkerdine
Cardiff University

I could not recommend a better book to those interested not only in the interdependence of the multiple crises (environmental, economic and political) that we are currently entangled in, but also in alternative visions for the future. After Capital is outstanding scholarship that daringly and passionately articulates new conceptual frameworks that makes clear the potential of a post-capitalist and post-anthropocentric cosmopolitics of the commons to make life after capital something to look forward to.

Dr Tiziana Terranova, University of Naples, L'Orientale.

Dr Tiziana Terranova
University of Naples, L'Orientale

With typical depth and thoughtfulness, Couze Venn explores and untangles the intricately woven and mammoth issues that we face today.

Erudite and scholarly, these pages are a revelation and guide in our complex and uncertain times.

Dr Dave Beer, Reader, York University

Dr Dave Beer
University of York

Sample Materials & Chapters


For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781526450135
ISBN: 9781526450128

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.