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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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1 For articles, refer for example to Jeffery, Renee, ‘Reason, Emotion, and the Problem of World Poverty: Moral Sentiments Theory and International Ethics’, International Theory, 3 (1) (2011); Mercer, Jonathan, ‘Emotional Beliefs’, International Organization, 64 (1) (2010): 131; Fattah, Khaled and Fierke, K. M.. ‘A Clash of Emotions: The Politics of Humiliation and Political Violence in the Middle East’, European Journal of International Relations, 15 (1) (2009), Ross, Andrew G., ‘Coming in from the Cold: Constructivism and Emotions’, European Journal of International Relations, 12 (2) (2006): 197222; McDermott, Rose, ‘The Feeling of Rationality: The Meaning of Neuroscientific Advances for Political Science’, Perspective on Politics, 2 (4) (2004); Crawford, Neta C., ‘The Passions of World Politics: Propositions on Emotion and Emotional Relationships’, International Security, 24 (4) (2000).

2 See Ledoux, Joseph, The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1996), p. 305; Ledoux, Joseph, Synaptic Self: How our Brains Become Who We are (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2002), p. 22.

3 This is not to say that we now understand everything concerning the brain and its functions, far from it. Despite the scientific progress made, modern psychology and the relevant fields of research, such as neuroscience, are still trying to figure out how the brain works.

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

5 Refer for instance to Kingston, Rebecca and Ferry, Leonard (eds.), Bringing the Passions Back In: The Emotions in Political Philosophy (Vancouver: The University of British Columbia Press, 2008). See also Kingston, Rebecca, Public Passion: Rethinking the Grounds for Political Justice (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2011).

6 Elster, Jon, Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 50.

7 James, William, ‘What Is an Emotion?’, in Georg Lange, Carl and James, William (eds.), The Emotions (New York, NY: Hafner Publishing Company, 1967), pp. 1130.

8 Ledoux, The Emotional Brain, p. 125 (supra note 2).

9 ‘Feelings of fear . . . occur as part of the overall reaction to danger and are no more or less central to the reaction than the behavioral and physiological responses that also occur, such as trembling, running away, sweating, and heart palpitations.’ See Ledoux, The Emotional Brain, p. 18 (supra note 2).

10 Regarding emotions and feelings, Antonio Damasio presents the distinction in the following terms: ‘While emotions are actions accompanied by ideas and certain modes of thinking, emotional feelings are mostly perceptions of what our bodies do during the emoting, along with perceptions of our state of mind during that same period of time.’ See Damasio, Antonio, Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 2010), p. 110.

11 A number of authors argue that certain primal emotions such as fear are capable of arising without any cognitive processing but that most emotional reactions have an immediate cognitive antecedent. Damasio, Consult Antonio, Descartes's Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (New York, NY: Penguin, 1994), pp. 130–9; and Jon Elster‘s assertion that ‘First, we form the belief that the world is such and such; and then we react emotionally to that belief.’ See Elster, Alchemies of the Mind, p. 408, as well as pp. 246–71 (supra note 6). We are less inclined than them to believe in the idea of cognitive antecedent. We are more prone to give to biology and its interactions with the environment a causality role in the production of emotions. But we do not see this causality as unique and fixed. Rather we tend to think that it comes with other historical factors and evolves in part under the influence of the interactions with the environment and its changes, over time (see below).

12 For a literary treatment of this issue, Zola, Emile, Doctor Pascal (North Hollywood, CA: Aegypan, translated by Mary Jane Serrano, 2006)

13 Jon Elster argues that the influence of culture on emotions is shown in three main ways: ‘in the labeling of emotions, in the evaluation of emotions, and in the determination of the behaviors that tend to trigger specific emotions’, Elster, Alchemies of the Mind, p. 412 (supra note 6).

14 Ibid., p. 117. For more on basic emotions theory, see for example Frijda, Nico, The Emotions (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

15 Ledoux, The Emotional Brain, p. 121 (supra note 2). Refer also to Damasio, Descartes’ s Error, pp. 149–150 (supra note 11).

16 Ledoux, The Emotional Brain, p. 114 (supra note 2).

17 Elster, Alchemies of the Mind, pp. 141–5 (supra note 6). Let us note that Daniel M. Gross is critical of the distinction between emotions (and passions) that seen as socially constituted and those basic ones, which are not. In his view, emotions and passions are social all the way down. He also disagrees with a simple neurobiological explanation of the social component of emotions. Gross, Daniel M., The Secret History of Emotion: From Aristotle's Rhetoric to Modern Brain Science (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2007), Chapter 1.

18 This leads to say that the ‘inner’ world is never fully ‘inner’, and that the ‘outside’ environment is never fully ‘outside’.

19 For example, a person who does not address, with the help of psychotherapy or simply by taking the bull by the horns and not running away, so to speak, her insecurities (themselves in part the product of patterns of interactions between the person, and herself others and the environment) will be emotionally, and existentially, in a very different place than if she had found ways to overcome them.

20 Meyer, Michel, Philosophy and the Passions: Towards a History of Human Nature (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, translated by Robert F. Barsky, 2000).

21 Not everybody agrees with this. Robert C. Solomon argues that emotions are one of the forms of passions: ‘There are three fundamental species of passions: (1) emotions, (2) moods, and (3) desires.’ See Solomon, Robert C., The Passions: Emotions and the Meaning of Life (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 1993), p. 70.

22 See Coicaud, Jean-Marc, ‘Crime, Justice, and Legitimacy: A Brief Theoretical Inquiry’, in Tankebe, Justice and Liebling, Alisson (eds.), Legitimacy and Criminal Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013); Jean-Marc Coicaud, ‘Towards an Integrated Theory of Rights, Values and Emotions/Passions in International Politics’, and A Brief Case Study of Germany and Japan: Emotions and Passions in the Making of World War II Japanese Journal of Political Science (forthcoming).

23 Coicaud, ‘Towards an Integrated Theory of Rights’ (supra note 22).

24 Coicaud, ‘Emotions and Passions in the Making of World War II’ (supra note 22).

25 Schmidt, Brian C., ‘Lessons from the Past: Reassessing the Interwar Disciplinary History of International Relations’, International Studies Quarterly, 42 (1998): 437.

26 Hoffmann, Stanley, ‘An American Social Science: International Relations’, Daedalus, 106 (3) (1977).

27 Smith, Steve, ‘The Discipline of International Relations: Still an American Social Science?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 2 (3) (2000): 399. See also Waever, Ole, ‘The Sociology of a Not So International Discipline: American and European Developments in International Relations’, International Organization, 52 (4) (1998).

28 Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney, ‘The International Relations Discipline, 1980–2006’ (text prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL: August/September 2007), p. 10.

29 Smith, ‘The Discipline of International Relations, p. 399 (supra note 27).

30 For an analysis of the impact of the natural sciences model on social sciences, see Coicaud, Jean-Marc, 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), Chapters 3 and 4.

31 Smith, ‘The Discipline of International Relations, p. 383 (supra note 27). Refer also to Kurki, Milja and Wight, Colin, ‘International Relations and Social Science’, in Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith, International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007), for instance p. 21.

32 Causal inference can be defined as ‘learning about causal effects from the data observed’, in King, Gary, Keohane, Robert O., and Verba, Sidney, Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Knowledge in Qualitative Research (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), p. 8. See also: ‘Inference . . . is the ultimate goal of all good social science’ (ibid., p. 34);

33 ‘There may be no true universal theories, owing to conditions differing markedly through time and space; this is a possibility we cannot overlook. But even if this were so, science could still fulfill . . . many of its aims in giving us knowledge and true predictions about conditions in and around our spatio-temporal niche’, in O’Hear, Anthony, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 43.

34 As Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba put it in their influential book Designing Social Inquiry: ‘The scholar who searches for additional implications of a hypothesis is pursuing one of the most important achievements of all social science: explaining as much as possible with as little as possible. Good social science seeks to increase the significance of what is explained relative to the information used in the explanation. If we can accurately explain what at first appears to be a complicated effect with a single causal variable or a few variables, the leverage we have over a problem is very high. Conversely, if we can explain many effects on the basis of one or a few variables we also have high leverage. Leverage is low in the social sciences in general and even more so in particular subject areas . . . Explanation of anything seems to require a host of explanatory variables: we use a lot to explain a little’, in King et al., Designing Social Inquiry, p. 29 (supra note 32).

35 Keohane, Robert O., ‘International Institutions: Two Approaches’, International Studies Quarterly, 32 (4) (1988): 388.

36 King et al., Designing Social Inquiry, pp. 185–86 (supra note 32). They argue that political science and, therefore, international relations research is rarely experimental.

37 Ibid., p. 83.

38 These difficulties have led Jon Elster to view the ideal of law-like explanation in the social sciences as implausible and fragile, instead preferring the idea of a mechanism as intermediate between laws and descriptions. He describes mechanisms as ‘frequently occurring and easily recognizable causal patterns that are triggered under generally unknown conditions or with indeterminate consequences’, Elster, Alchemies of the Mind, p. 1 (supra note 6).

39 King et al., Designing Social Inquiry, pp. 109–12 (supra note 32).

40 The paragraph builds on Jonathan Mercer, ‘Approaching Emotion in International Politics’, paper presented at the International Studies Association Conference (San Diego, CA, 25 April 1996), pp. 1–2.

41 For a discussion on the extent to which Thucydides is a realist, and what kind of realist, see Brown, Chris, Nardin, Terry, and Rengger, Nicholas, International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 20; Lebow, Richard Ned, Coercion, Cooperation and Ethics in International Relations (New York, NY: Routledge, 2007), pp. 351–74; and Booth, Ken and Wheeler, Nicholas J., The Security Dilemma: Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), p. 13.

42 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (New York, NY: Penguin Books, translated by Rex Warner, 1972), Book I, 23, p. 49.

43 It generates self-esteem if an individual, or a country, abides by it, and shame if this is not the case. For self-esteem and shame in the Greek context, see Lebow, Richard Ned, A Cultural Theory of International Relations (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 63.

44 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, Book I, 76, p. 80.

45 Crawford Brough Macpherson, ‘Introduction’ to Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1985), p. 19. Refer also to Coicaud, Legitimacy and Politics, pp. 99–100 (supra note 30).

46 ‘So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, Competition; Secondly, Diffidence; Thirdly, Glory. The first, maketh men invade for Gain; the second, for Safety; and the third, for Reputation’, Hobbes, Leviathan, Part I, Chapter XIII, p. 185.

47 Ibid., Part I, Chapter VI, p. 125.

48 Ibid., Part I, Chapter VI, p. 127.

49 Smith, Michael Joseph, Realist Thought from Weber to Kissinger (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1986), p. 13.

50 Richard Tuck argues that ‘this universal recognition by all men of the blamelessness of self-preservation is the practical foundation for Hobbes’ moral theory: his confidence that his theory was of general applicability rested on his confidence that all men displayed this fundamental moral agreement’, in Richard Tuck, The Rights of War and Peace: Political Thought and the International Order from Grotius to Kant (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 132.

51 Hoffmann, ‘An American Social Science’, pp. 44–5 (supra note 26). Other interesting articles on Hans J. Morgenthau's realism and its contribution to international relations are, for example, Jervis, Robert, ‘Hans Morgenthau, Realism, and the Scientific Study of International Relations’, Social Research, 61 (4) (1994); Scheuerman, William E., ‘The (classical) Realist Vision of Global Reform’, International Theory, 2 (2) (2010).

52 Morgenthau, Hans J., Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 1993), p. 29.

53 Ibid., p. 4.

54 Waltz, Kenneth N., Theory of International Politics (Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979).

55 John J. Mearsheimer, ‘Structural Realism’, in Dunne et al., International Relations Theories, p. 72 (supra note 31).

56 For a detailed discussion of this issue, especially in the context of Kenneth N. Walz's work and its views on human nature, refer to Crawford, Neta C., ‘Human Nature and World Politics: rethinking “Man”’, International Relations, 23 (2) (2009).

57 US foreign policy is not foreign to this mindset. Over time, America's feeling of vulnerability, which seems to have increased along with the growth of its power, has come to feed a passion for total security that is probably as illusory as illustrative of a tendency to paranoia. September 11, 2001, has only intensified this psychology.

58 Waever, ‘The Sociology of a Not So International Discipline’, pp. 714–15 (supra note 27), and Lebow, Coercion, Cooperation and Ethics in International Relations, p. 302 (supra note 41).

59 Diana Panke and Thomas Risse, ‘Liberalism’, in Dunne et al., International Relations Theories, p. 92 (supra note 31).

60 Ibid., p. 92. See also Milja Kurki and Colin Wight, ‘International Relations and Social Science’, in Dunne et al., International Relations Theories, p. 23 (supra note 31).

61 Ibid., p. 23.

62 Jonathan Mercer argues that this is part of the related and mutually reinforcing myths that rational choice theory carries about psychology. In addition to the myth stating that psychology only accounts for mistakes from rationality and cannot explain accurate judgments, there is the one indicating that psychological explanations need rational baselines, that is that we can only know what is not rational (the domain of psychology) after establishing what is rational. Mercer, Jonathan, ‘Rationality and Psychology in International Politics’, International Organization, 59 (2005): 78–9.

63 Damasio, Descartes’ s Error, for example Chapter 3 (supra note 11).

64 Mercer, ‘Rationality and Psychology in International Politics’, p. 94 (supra note 62). See also Janice Gross Stein: ‘(t)he evidence from psychological studies is now robust that people are not “rational actors”, except in the most trivial and uninteresting situations’, in ‘Psychological Explanations of International Conflicts’, in Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, and Beth A. Simmons (eds.), Handbook of International Relations (London: Sage Publications, 2009), p. 302.

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

66 Lebow, Coercion, Cooperation and Ethics in International Relations, p. 307 (supra note 41).

67 Becker, Gary S., Treatise on the Family (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), for instance Chapter 8. On the problematic application of the economic model and its conception of rationality and interest to a multiplicity of fields and objects, see Foucault, Michel, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979 (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, translated by Graham Burchell, 2008), Lecture 11.

68 Coicaud, Jean-Marc, Beyond the National Interest: The Future of UN Peacekeeping and Multilateralism in an Era of US Primacy (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2007).

69 Hirschman, Albert O., The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977).

70 Stiglitz, Joseph E., Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2010), Chapter 6.

71 For liberalism, for example, consult Diana Panke and Thomas Risse, ‘Liberalism’, in Dunne et al., International Relations Theories, p. 99 (supra note 31).

72 In the sub-field of decision-making studies, refer for instance to the book by Khong, Yuen Foong, Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 225: ‘The analysis so far has focused exclusively on what psychologists call “cold” cognitive processes . . . Little reference has been made to the role of “hot cognitions” such as affect, emotions, anxieties, and ego needs, nor have these “hot” factors been incorporated into my explanations. Although these “hot” factors are not unimportant for analogical reasoning . . . they have been omitted for two reasons. First, the role of affects or emotions in information-processing approaches is only beginning to be systematically explored by psychologists . . . The second reason for focusing on “cold” cognitive processes is theoretical parsimony. Insofar as “cold” factors are sufficient to explain most of our inferential failures and successes, there is only a residual need to resort to “hot” cognitive explanations.’

73 Incidentally, this commitment to the preservation of theoretical orthodoxy, even if it is at the expense of a better understanding of the world, illustrates how at times the professionalization of ideas can contribute to the impoverishment of the life of ideas.

74 A similar phenomenon is happening in other fields of the social sciences. For instance sociology is also paying more attention to emotions (see the bibliography mentioned in Bleiker, Roland and Hutchinson, Emma, ‘Fear No More: Emotions and World Politics’, Review of International Studies, 34 (Supplement S1): 123, note 40. Even criminal law is getting more interested in the question, for example with Karstedt, Suzanne, Loader, Ian, and Strang, Heather (eds.), Emotions, Crime and Justice (Oxford, UK: Hart, 2011)

75 Refer to Stein, Janice Gross, ‘Foreign Policy Decision Making: rational, Psychological, and Neurological Models’, in Smith, Steve, Hadfield, Amelia, and Dunne, Tim (eds.), Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008), and ‘Psychological Explanations of International Conflict’, in Carlsnaes et al. (eds.), Handbook of International Relations (supra note 64).

76 Crawford, ‘The Passions of World Politics’ (supra note 1).

77 Crawford, ‘Human Nature and World Politics’ (supra note 56).

78 Mercer, ‘Rationality and Psychology in International Politics’ (supra note 62); Mercer, Jonathan, ‘Prospect Theory and Political Science’, Annual Review of Political Science (Annual Reviews), 8 (2005), ‘Human Nature and the First Image: Emotion in International Politics’, Journal of International Relations and Development, 9 (2006): 288–303, and ‘Emotional Beliefs’, International Organization, 64 (Winter) (2010): 1–31.

79 McDermott, Rose, Political Psychology in International Relations (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2004), ‘Prospect Theory in Political Science’, Political Psychology, 25(2) (2004), ‘The Psychological Ideas of Amos Tversky and their Relevance for Political Science’, Journal of Theoretical Politics, 13(1) (2001), ‘The Feeling of Rationality’ (supra note 1).

80 Jonathan Mercer, ‘Prospect Theory and Political Science’ (supra note 78) and ‘Emotional Beliefs’ (supra note 1).

81 Rilling, J., Gutman, D., Zeh, T., Pagnoni, G., Berns, G., and Kilts, C., ‘A Neural Basis for Cooperation’, Neuron, 35 (2002),, and Mercer, ‘Rationality and Psychology in International Politics’ (supra note 62).

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

83 Fierke, K. M., ‘Agents of Death: The Structural Logic of Suicide Terrorism and Martyrdom’, International Theory, 1 (1) (2009); Hutchinson, Emma, ‘Trauma and the Politics of Emotions: Constituting Identity – Security and Community after the Bali Bombing’, International Relations, 24 (2010).

84 Bennett, William John, Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2003); Saurette, Paul, ‘You Dismiss Me? Humiliation and Post-9/11 Global Politics’, Review of International Studies, 32 (2006); Bleiker and Hutchinson, ‘Fear no More’ (supra note 74); Bleiker, Roland and Leet, Martin, ‘From the Sublime to the Subliminal: Fear, Awe and Wonder in International Politics’, Millenium: Journal of International Studies, 34 (2006); Crawford, ‘Human Nature and World Politics’ (supra note 56); Fattah, Khaled and Fierke, K. M., ‘A Clash of Emotions: The Politics of Humiliation and Political Violence in the Middle East’, European Journal of International Relations, 15 (2009).

85 Linklater, Andrew, ‘Distant Suffering and Cosmopolitan Obligations’, International Politics, 44(January 2007); Jeffery, Renee, ‘Reason, Emotion, and the Problem of World Poverty: Moral Sentiment Theory and International Ethics’, International Theory, 3 (1) (2011).

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

87 Gries, Peter Hays, China's New Nationalism: Pride, Politics and Diplomacy(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), Saurette, ‘You Dismiss me?’ (supra note 84); Saurette, Paul, The Kantian Imperative: Humiliation, Common Sense, Politics (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2005), Moïsi, Dominique, The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World (New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2010), and Löwenheim, Oded and Heimann, Gadi, ‘Revenge in International Politics’, Security Studies, 17 (4) (2008).

88 Kaufman, Stuart J., Modern Hatred: The Symbolics Politics of Ethnic War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001).

89 Edkins, Jenny, Trauma and the Memory of Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003), and Hutchinson, Emma and Bleiker, RolandEmotional Reconciliation: Reconstituting Identity and Community After Trauma’, European Journal of Social Theory, 11 (2008).

90 Hassner, Pierre, La terreur et l’empire: La violence et la paix II (Paris: Seuil, 2003), for example pp. 383–402, and ‘La revanche des passions’, Commentaire, 110 (summer 2005).

91 Lebow, Richard Ned, The Tragic Vision of Politics: Ethics, Interests and Orders (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003), A Cultural Theory of International Relations (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Why Nations Fight: Past and Future Motives for War (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

92 Concerning Richard Ned Lebow, see Symposium on A Cultural Theory of International Relations, guest editor, David A. Welch. David A. Welch, ‘A Cultural Theory Meets Cultures of Theory’, Nicholas Rengger, ‘Remember the Aeneid? Why International Theory Should Beware Greek Gifts’, Jacques E. C. Hymans, ‘The Arrival of Psychological Constructivism’, William C. Wohlforth, ‘A Matter of Honor’, James D. Morrow, ‘Eight Questions for A Cultural Theory of International Relations’, James Der Derian ‘Reading Lebow: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Oracles’, and Lebow, Richard Ned, ‘Motives, Evidence, Identity: Engaging my Critics’, International Theory, 2 (3) (2010).

93 Footnote 31 in this article.

94 The lack of thorough analysis of the ideological dimensions of a science makes it easier for ideology to pass for science, and much more difficult for scientific pretentions to truly qualify as science. This is particularly true for the discipline of international relations in the United States.

95 Incidentally, descriptive and explanatory misgivings have a negative practical effect as well. For if it is true that valid knowledge of how the world works makes it easier, at least in principle, to know how to change it and change it for the better, the contrary is also true. The lack of comprehensive analysis of social reality renders more difficult the task of knowing how to improve it, and of effectively improving it.

96 As Albert O. Hirschman puts it: ‘(F)or the only certain and predictable feature of human affairs is. . . the futility to reduce human action to a single motive –such as interest’, Hirschman, Albert O., Rival Views on Market Society and Other Recent Essays (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), p. 53.

97 Refer in particular to Kant, Immanuel, To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, translated by Ted Humphrey, 1985), and the remarks by Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, Lecture 3 (supra note 67).

98 Over time, especially in the American social sciences, as we have seen in this article in the context of international relations, this understanding and analysis of agency as socially embedded were more or less disregarded. In international relations, the lower degree of integration compared to the national level facilitated this orientation. The notions of (national) interest and of the state as a more or less stand-alone actor came to illustrate and, in fact, assist the spread of a somewhat de-socialized, if not de-socializing conception and analysis of international politics.

99 Richard Ned Lebow offers a typology of emotions and passions in A Cultural Theory of International Relations (supra note 43), but, as we mentioned earlier in the article, notwithstanding the formidable character of his theory, what seems to be his universal use of Greek categories is problematic.

100 Bourdieu's, Pierre work, such as Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, translated by Richard Nice, 1987) and The State Nobility: Elite Schools in the Fields of Power (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, translated by Lauretta C. Clough, 1998), despite its often sociologically one-sided and deterministic orientation, offers insights on which to build. The work of Norbert Elias would also be very useful.

101 Montesquieu, Benjamin Constant, and Alexis de Tocqueville, among others, allude to the significance of these considerations. See Coicaud, Jean-Marc, ‘Quelques considérations introductives sur la psychologie et l’étude des relations internationales’, in de Senarclens, Pierre (ed.), Les frontières dans tous leurs états: les relations internationales au défi de la mondialisation (Brussels: Bruylant, 2009), pp. 280–2.

102 Alexander Wendt gives an example of how significant it can be: ‘Collective self-esteem refers to a group's need to feel good about itself, for respect or status. Self-esteem is a basic human need of individuals, and one of the things that individuals seek in group membership. As expressions of this desire groups acquire the need as well. Like other national interests it can be expressed in different ways. A key factor is whether collective self-images are positive or negative, which will depend in part on relationships to significant Others, since it is by taking the perspective of the Other that the Self sees itself. Negative self-images tend to emerge from perceived disregard or humiliation by other states, and as such may occur frequently in highly competitive international environments (the Germans after World War I? The Russians today?). Since groups cannot long tolerate such images if they are to meet the self-esteem needs of their members, they will compensate by self-assertion and/or devaluation and aggression toward the Other. Positive self-images, in contrast, tend to emerge from mutual respect and cooperation’, Wendt, Alexander, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 236–7.

103 Ibid., p. 236.

104 The politics and policies of naturalization are part of this story. For instance, countries of immigration, and the possibility of naturalization they can entail (for example in Europe and the United States), are likely to have another vision of the ‘other’ than countries where immigration is marginalized and naturalization not an option. Such differences in the national culture of countries are expressions of different visions of the world, and it is probable that they have some impact on the foreign policy of countries. At a time when the international distribution of power is somewhat shifting beyond the West, this type of issue could have interesting consequences on the future.

105 Consult for example Elias, Norbert, The Germans: Power Struggles and the Development of Habitus in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, translated from the German by Eric Dunning and Stephen Mennell, 1996), for example Part III.

106 At the end of the eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century, the international repercussions of revolutionary upheaval in France are an illustration of this situation. The emotions and passions at the core of the French Revolution, internally, became part and parcel of the international scene and contributed to redrawing it. See Bukovansky, Mlada, Legitimacy and Power Politics: The American and French Revolutions in International Political Culture (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), and, more generally on these types of issues, see Allott, Philip, Eunomia: New Order for a New World (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1990), for instance Chapter 15.

107 Berman, Nathaniel, Passions et Ambivalences: le colonialisme, le nationalisme et le droit international (Paris: Editions Pedonne, 2008); Anghie, Antony, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

108 For instance, in the French context, Rousso, Henry, The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France since 1944 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer, 1994), and Conan, Eric and Rousso, Henry, Vichy: An Ever-Present Past (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, Translated from the French by Nathan Bracher, 1998).

109 Ricoeur, Paul, Memory, History, Forgetting (Chicago, IL: translated from the French by Kathleen Blamey and david Pellauer, University of Chicago Press, 2006), and Margalit, Avishai, The Ethics of Memory(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).

110 Halbwachs, Maurice, On Collective Memory (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, translated by Lewis A. Coser, 1992).

111 Peter Hays Gries addresses this issue for China in China's New Nationalism (supra note 87).

112 It is the very human and social need to nurture the emotions and passions of inclusiveness and to combat exclusionary ones that has triggered the interest of the author in the question of emotions and passions.

* The author would like to thank the several anonymous reviewers for very helpful feedback and suggestions for revising this article. He would also like to thank Thomas Arndt, John Handal and Lynette E. Sieger for helping to language edit the text in order to make it clearer.

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  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
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