The Power of Emotions in World Politics

A new anthology edited by Simon Koschut examines the role of emotions in international politics. The book is available here.


This book argues that the link between emotions and discourse provides a new and promising framework to theorize and empirically analyse power relationships in world politics. Examining the ways in which discourse evokes, reveals, and engages emotions, the expert contributors argue that emotions are not irrational forces but have a pattern to them that underpins social relations. However, these are also power relations and their articulation as socially constructed ways of feeling and expressing emotions represent a key force in either sustaining or challenging the social order. This volume goes beyond the "emotions matter" approach to offer specific ways to integrate the consideration of emotion into existing research. It offers a novel integration of emotion, discourse, and power and shows how emotion discourses establish, assert, challenge, or reinforce power and status difference.

Reviews and Endorsements

The authors do double duty: they elucidate the discursive power of emotions and they add to our understanding of emotional discourses in different social and political settings — ranging from humiliation to victim hood to empathy. The Power of Emotions in World Politics is an interesting and important contribution to our understanding of emotions in world politics.

Neta C. Crawford, Professor and Chair of the Department Political Science, Boston University

The range and depth of the analyses gathered in here, their empirical richness and pointed explorations, makes this a valuable collection, even for a skeptic of the ‘emotions turn’.

Charlotte Epstein, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney

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Time to decide

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