The economy of hope : an introduction / Hirokazu Miyazaki -- A sociological approach to hope in the economy / Richard Swedberg -- Mercantilist-utopian projects in eighteenth-century Sweden / Richard Swedberg -- Hope turned upside down : how the prospects for a Communist utopia were dashed in 1950s Romania / Katherine Verdery -- Hope and society in Japan / Yuji Genda -- Is the law hopeful? / Annelise Riles -- When and how does hope spring eternal in personal and popular economics? Thoughts from West Africa to America / Jane Guyer -- Obama's hope : an economy of belief and substance / Hirokazu Miyazaki
With its ascendancy in American political discourse during the past few years, hope has become a watchword of politics, yet the rhetoric has failed to inquire into the actual function of hope in political life. This essay examines elpis, the Greek word for "hope," in Thucydides' History and offers a theoretical account of this concept and its connection to successful political action. I suggest that a complex understanding of hope structures Thucydides' narrative: Hope counts as among the most dangerous political delusions, yet it also offers the only possible response to despair. Thucydides' text educates the judgment of his readers, chastening hope while showing its importance despite its flaws. The History thus offers an alternative for considering the politics of hope, one that challenges hope's ardent proponents today. Adapted from the source document.