The political economy of desire: international law, development and the nation state

New York, NY: Routledge-Cavendish (2007)
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This book offers an intelligent and thought-provoking analysis of the genealogy of Western capitalist 'development'. Jennifer Beard departs from the common position that development and underdevelopment are conceptual outcomes of the Imperialist Era and positions the genealogy of development within early Christian writings in which the western theological concepts of sin, salvation, and redemption are expounded. In doing so, she links the early Christian writings of theologians such as Augustine and , Anselm and Abelard to the processes of modern identity formation of which 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 identified within western culture as a symptom of loss within the desire for completion; as the logic behind the economic restructuring of nations as underdeveloped is revealed as that ruthless imaginary by which First World nations maintain their ideal of themselves. Drawing upon anthropology, economics, historiography, philosophy of science, theology, feminism, cultural studies and development studies, this book contains the best of interdisciplinary work in international law.



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