Imagining Interest in Political Thought: Origins of Economic Rationality (Paperback)Stephen G. Engelmann (author)
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Tracing the development of monistic interest from its origins in Reformation political theory and theology through late-twentieth-century neoliberalism, Engelmann reconceptualizes the history of liberalism as consisting of phases in the history of monistic interest or economic government. He describes how monistic interest, as formulated by Bentham, is made up of the individual's imagined expectations, which are constructed by the very regime that maximizes them. He asserts that this construction of interests is not the work of a self-serving manipulative state. Rather, the state, which is itself subject to strict economic regulation, is only one cluster of myriad "public" and "private" agencies that produce and coordinate expectations. In place of a liberal vision in which government appears only as a protector of the free pursuit of interest, Engelmann posits that the free pursuit of interest is itself a mode of government, one that deploys individual imagination and choice as its agents.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 295 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 13 mm