Front Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, In memoriam

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowlegments

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pp. ix-x

A book writes its author, most of all through the relationships that it creates, sustains, and even tests at times. The debt of my gratitude to friends and interlocutors for working through this book and its process is humbling to reckon. Foremost I thank my advisers and teachers for the challenges and inspiration: ...

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Chapter One: Introduction: The Politics of Interest

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pp. 1-30

Thomas Frank’s 2004 best seller, What’s the Matter with Kansas? spoke to the puzzlement of many Democratic voters regarding the ability of the Republicans to win the votes of people who were harmed financially by GOP policies.1 Frank claims that white and rural working- and middle-class Kansans—and their counterparts in states whose electoral votes are up for grabs— ...

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Chapter Two: Property, Usury, and the Juridical Subject of Interest

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pp. 31-57

In Keywords, Raymond Williams notes that “interest” exemplifies how “our most general words for attraction and involvement . . . have developed from a formal objective term in property and finance.”1 Williams elaborates no further on this point, but his remark gestures toward the centrality of interests for comprehending modern subjectivity and politics. ...

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Chapter Three: Appeals to Interest in Seventeenth-Century England

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pp. 58-105

Geoffrey Chaucer’s short poem “Fortune, Balades de Visage sanz Peinture” (c. 1374) depicts a dialogue between Fortune and a person named only as le pleintif before a princely judge.1 In the opening remarks of the poem, le pleintif laments: ...

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Chapter Four: Contesting Sovereignty: Interest in Thomas Hobbes

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pp. 106-139

The seventeenth century left many things to us moderns. One is a political idiom saturated with the language of interest, and the sense—equal parts cynical and scientific—that any claim can or even must be rendered in its terms. Another is the deeply puzzling, darkly insightful, but ever rigorous philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. ...

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Chapter Five: A Historiography of Liberal Interest and the Neoliberal Self

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pp. 140-168

In the foregoing chapters, I have characterized as “liberal” and “social-scientific” a view of interest, as a psychological faculty of rational, calculating self-regard, that has been routinely but wrongly attributed to episodes in the conceptual history of interest—its relation to financial practices, ...

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Chapter Six: Interest in Political Studies: Action, Grouping, and Government

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pp. 169-204

“Interests in politics”—“special interests”—“interest groups.” For the citizenobserver, these phrases conjure pictures of unduly influential associations bent on hijacking policy to their own narrow advantage. They are, in a broad vernacular, what is meant by “political interests.” ...

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Epilogue: The Language of Interest as a Critical Theory of Politics

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pp. 205-208

In Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe cite interest, alongside representation and sovereignty, as elements of classical political theory most in need of late modern critique and reconfiguration.1 ...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 209-220

Index

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pp. 221-228

Back Cover

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