My work of the last five years has focused on the concept of desire as:
1. an instrument of liberal governmentality. In that context, I look at desire from a genealogical perpsective and claim that, in the liberal age, desire is understood and experienced as a. economic self-interest and utility; b. sexuality; c. social and political recognition. I therefore define the liberal subject, the origins of which I trace back to a period extending between the end of the 18th and the middle of the 19th century, as the homo economicus, the homo sexualis, and the homo symbolicus. I show how many of today's social and political struggles, as well as the way in which we understand and experience who we are, stem from such a complex and normative process of subjectivation, and the various ways in which those three pillars of liberalism interact. See Miguel de Beistegui, The Government of Desire: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject.
2. an alternative practice of the self, in response to the more critical approach adopted in The Government of Desire. Rather than abandon the concept of desire altogether, I retain it as indicative of our power to become a different type of subject: politically (this leads me to a conception of anarchy as minimising relations of power), erotically (this leads me to a conception of love that bypasses the normativity of the analytic of sexuality), and ontologically (as a way of defining ourselves not in relation to a fixed identity, but to our ability to become someone or something else). Desire, I claim, is this 'unease' that defines our relation to the world, indicative of a form of life that is not simply conservative, but also creative. See Miguel de Bestegui, Le désir, encore... (forthcoming, 2020) and The Tangled Knot of Desire: Lacan, Genealogy, History (under review).