Adopting Islamic Ethics to Resolve Problems of International Political Economy Driven by Libidinal Factors in a Consumerist Society


Libidinal economy; International Political Economy; Islamic Ethics, Consumerist Society


This article argues that study of international political economy (IPE) is not rational as assumed or expected, but it driven by Libidinal Economy in the process of symbolic exchange in consumerist society. Libidinal economy means to desire and compulsively pursue more and more surplus value or never-ending capital accumulation. The study adopted a qualitative research design with a meta-theoretical approach to interpret the problems related to the philosophical assumptions of the study of IPE in the discipline of International Relations. The main objective of this research was to examine the compulsive mentality of the libidinal economy and to see how animated commodities drain the subject into deeper addiction (Hancock, 2017). This argument was constructed by focusing on Lyotard’s, and Bennett’s concept of libidinal economy and Baudrillard’s concept of consumerist society. In this regard, the study of IPE should address more social dimension in ethical moral sentiments so that it can tackle the consequences of global capitalism such as a widening gap between the rich and the poor, climate change/global warming, pollution, and environmental destruction as whole.  Further, this study believed that addressing Islamic ethics as the moral sentiment was one of ways to tackle the problem in the study of IPE in World Politics, preoccupied by libidinal economy and ontological nihilistic symbolic exchange of commodities in consumerist society. Islamic ethics provides sufficient rule for human beings in dealing with the nature. The study found that Islamic ethics was very much basic to maintain the balance life between human beings and the nature. This can lead to sustain the life cycle of the world. The study recommends that the libidinal IPE should be balanced with Islamic ethics especially in the spiritual sense. Islamic Ethics has the potential to preserve and maintain the harmony of human mentality and their natural relations.