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Emotions and Passions in the Discipline of International Relations


The article focuses on how emotions and passions – two related but somewhat different notions – are addressed in the field of international relations. As such it makes three main points. First, the article argues that, although presupposed in mainstream international relations, because of the influence of positivism emotions and passions have tended to be overlooked. Second, it makes the point that in recent years scholars with constructivist leanings have been increasingly interested in taking emotions and passions seriously as an academic area of research. Third, and finally, the article concludes that despite the progress made in the 2000s on the understanding of emotions and passions in international relations, more work remains to be done. As such it outlines future directions of research.

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Andrew G. Ross , ‘Coming in from the Cold: Constructivism and Emotions’, European Journal of International Relations, 12 (2) (2006): 197222

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Martha Nussbaum , Upheavals of Thoughts: The Intelligence of Emotions (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

Jean-Marc Coicaud , ‘Crime, Justice, and Legitimacy: A Brief Theoretical Inquiry’, in Justice Tankebe and Alisson Liebling (eds.), Legitimacy and Criminal Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

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Jean-Marc Coicaud , Legitimacy and Politics: A Contribution to the Study of Political Right and Political Responsibility (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, translated by David Ames Curtis, 2002)

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Neta C. Crawford , ‘Human Nature and World Politics: rethinking “Man”’, International Relations, 23 (2) (2009)

Richard Ned Lebow , ‘Reason, Emotion and Cooperation’, International Politics, 42 (2005): 29

Jonathan Mercer , ‘Prospect Theory and Political Science’, Annual Review of Political Science (Annual Reviews), 8 (2005)

Rose McDermott , Political Psychology in International Relations (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2004)

J. Rilling , D. Gutman , T. Zeh , G. Pagnoni , G. Berns , and C. Kilts , ‘A Neural Basis for Cooperation’, Neuron, 35 (2002)

Jacques E. C. Hymans , The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Roland Bleiker and Martin Leet , ‘From the Sublime to the Subliminal: Fear, Awe and Wonder in International Politics’, Millenium: Journal of International Studies, 34 (2006)

Khaled Fattah and K. M. Fierke , ‘A Clash of Emotions: The Politics of Humiliation and Political Violence in the Middle East’, European Journal of International Relations, 15 (2009)

Andrew Linklater , ‘Distant Suffering and Cosmopolitan Obligations’, International Politics, 44(January 2007)

Wesley W. Widmaier , ‘Emotions before Paradigms: Elite Anxiety and Populist Resentment from the Asian to Subprime Crisis’, Millenium: Journal of International Studies, 39 (2010)

Oded Löwenheim and Gadi Heimann , ‘Revenge in International Politics’, Security Studies, 17 (4) (2008)

Jenny Edkins , Trauma and the Memory of Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Richard Ned Lebow , The Tragic Vision of Politics: Ethics, Interests and Orders (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

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Japanese Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 1468-1099
  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
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