Fear no more: Emotions and world politics

Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2008) Fear no more: Emotions and world politics. Review of International Studies, 34 Supp. 1: 115-135. doi:10.1017/S0260210508007821

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Author Bleiker, Roland
Hutchison, Emma
Title Fear no more: Emotions and world politics
Journal name Review of International Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0260-2105
Publication date 2008-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0260210508007821
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 34
Issue Supp. 1
Start page 115
End page 135
Total pages 21
Editor Nick Rengger
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
1606 Political Science
Abstract Although emotions play a significant role in world politics they have so far received surprisingly little attention by International Relations scholars. Numerous authors have emphasised this shortcoming for several years now, but strangely there are still only very few systematic inquiries into emotions and even fewer related discussions on method. The article explains this gap by the fact that much of International Relations scholarship is conducted in the social sciences. Such inquiries can assess emotions up to a certain point, as illustrated by empirical studies on psychology and foreign policy and constructivist engagements with identity and community. But conventional social science methods cannot understand all aspects of phenomena as ephemeral as those of emotions. Doing so would involve conceptualising the influence of emotions even when and where it is not immediately apparent. The ensuing challenges are daunting, but at least some of them could be met by supplementing social scientific methods with modes of inquiry emanating from the humanities. By drawing on feminist and other interpretive approaches we advance three propositions that would facilitate such cross-disciplinary inquiries. (1) The need to accept that research can be insightful and valid even if it engages unobservable phenomena, and even if the results of such inquiries can neither be measured nor validated empirically; (2) The importance of examining processes of representation, such as visual depictions of emotions and the manner in which they shape political perceptions and dynamics; (3) A willingness to consider alternative forms of insight, most notably those stemming from aesthetics sources, which, we argue, are particularly suited to capturing emotions. Taken together, these propositions highlight the need for a sustained global communication across different fields of knowledge.
Keyword International-relations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes Title of Supp.1: Cultures and Politics of Global Communication, Also published in Cultures and politics of global communication By Costas M. Constantinou, Oliver P. Richmond, Alison M. S. Watson, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 9780521727112, pp 115-135

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Created: Fri, 20 Mar 2009, 22:18:18 EST by Elmari Louise Whyte on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences