International Order and Justice
The Role of Emotions in International Relations
Emotions and sentiments in international relations have not been given scholarly attention despite their obvious centrality. The gap in knowledge is wide and ought to be addressed; all the more so as the study of emotion has now become a vibrant subject in other disciplines, which have forged useful tools for their analysis.
In social theory, in particular, emotions have been investigated as a key component in a wide range of issues, notably socializing processes, regulation, collective action, and the impact of social institutions on emotional behaviour.
This project aims to assess the significance of emotions and sentiments in international affairs, such as anger, resentment, pity, shame, guilt, empathy/sympathy, jealousy, pride, joy etc. It falls into two parts. The first is concerned primarily with:
- providing a social constructivist framework for the study of emotions,
- identifying the emotions that matter in post-Cold War international relations, and
- conducting specific case studies.
The second part focuses on one emotion – fear – and its role in shaping international relations after the Cold War. Topics studied fall under three main headings, namely (i) socio-political, (ii) socio-economic, and (iii) socio-environmental objects of fear. By examining the emotional dynamics of war and peace, terrorism, migration, international political economy and international environmental politics, the project addresses many pressing global problems that are the concern of the UN and its agencies.
Page last modified 2011.06.07.