The Political Economy of Desire: International Law, Development and the Nation State

39 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2009 Last revised: 5 May 2009

Jennifer L. Beard

Law and Development Research Programme, IILAH

Date Written: March 23, 2009

Abstract

In this analysis of the genealogy of western capitalist 'development', The Political Economy of Desire departs from the common position that development and underdevelopment are conceptual outcomes of the Imperialist era. Instead, it positions the genealogy of development within early Christian writings in which the western theological concepts of sin, salvation, and redemption are expounded. Linking the writings of early theologians, such as Augustine and Anselm, to the processes of modern identity formation - of which phenomena such as the West, the First World, the Rule of Law and the individual subject and his or her freedoms are but a part - the concept of development is thus traced to a particularly Christian dynamic. As such, the promise of development is considered as analogous to the way in which the Word of God was used to call Christianity into being, with the promise of salvation.

Keywords: Genealogy of western capitalist 'development', Political Economy of desire, Imperialist era, Christian writings, western theologians, international law

JEL Classification: K3, K33

Suggested Citation

Beard, Jennifer L., The Political Economy of Desire: International Law, Development and the Nation State (March 23, 2009). U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 380. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1367439 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1367439

Jennifer L. Beard (Contact Author)

Law and Development Research Programme, IILAH ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://iilah.unimelb.edu.au

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