The Political Economy of Commons

Silvia Federici and Massimo De Angelis

The Political Economy  of Commons


As the main subjects of reproductive work, from the beginning of capitalism to the present, women have been the main defenders of the commons against dispossession. In this context, Federici discusses how the struggles women are making today against the privatization of our 'common goods' are transforming the process of reproduction and creating communities of resistance to the expansion of capitalist relations.

About Silvia Federici

Silvia Federici is a writer, teacher and feminist activist. In the ’70s she was one of the founders of the international campaign for the retribution of domestic labour. Her works, now translated in various languages, include: the Body and Capitalist Accumulation (Autonomedia 2004), Revolution at Point Zero. Housework, Reproduction and feminist Struggle (PM Press 2012). Federici is now Emeritus Professor at Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York).


What alternatives to capital, its social relations and crises? What strategic horizons in front of social movements? How to contrast the crises and their socially, economically and ecologically devastating effects? I propose a concep- tualisation of emancipatory and sustainable alternatives to capital at the historical point in which progressive policy responses to the capital’s crisis seem to have reached an impasse. Plan C&D, or commons and democracy. This is the name I give to the “sense-horizon” of a social force that is distinct from capital, that is taking shape some time tentatively and in the interstices of society while other times more openly as a movement against the political manifestation of capital. This latter instead, in today’s context seems to be stuck in different versions of plan A (Neoliberalism) and unable to shift to a renewed orthodoxy of plan B (Keynesianism) and probably trying to co-opt elements of Plan C&D, but most likely combining more strictly with elements of plan E&F (exclusion and fashism).

About Massimo De Angelis

Massimo De Angelis is Professor of Political Economy and Development at the University of East London. He is the founding editor of the web journal The Commoner, and, among other works, author of The Beginning of History: Global capital and value struggles.


WHEN Thursday, 8 May 2014 12:30
WHERE Campus UAB Building: ETSE Room: Seminari Q3/0007

Watch the videos from the seminar below

Lecture by Silvia Federici and Massimo De Angelis