Containing the best interdisciplinary work in international law, this book offers an intelligent and thought-provoking analysis of the genealogy of Western capitalist 'development'. Putting forth ground-breaking arguments and challenging the traditional boundaries of thinking about the concept of development and underdevelopment, it provides readers with a new perspective on the West's relationship with the rest of the world. With Jennifer Beard's departure from the common position that development and underdevelopment are conceptual outcomes of the Imperialist era, The Political Economy of Desire positions the genealogy of development within early Christian writings in which the Western theological concepts of sin, salvation and redemption are expounded. Drawing upon legal theory, anthropology, economics, historiography, philosophy of science, theology, feminism, cultural studies and development studies the author explores: the link between the writings of early theologians and the processes of modern identity formation - tracing the concept of development to a particularly Christian dynamic how the promise of salvation continues to influence Western ontology. An innovative and topical work, this volume is an essential read for those interested in international law and socio-legal theory.