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Palgrave Macmillan

Researching Emotions in International Relations

Methodological Perspectives on the Emotional Turn

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Tackles the issue of methods in the scholarship on emotions in IR
  • Offers practical 'hands-on' approach behind experienced scholars methodological choices
  • Presents contributions from a wide variety of perspectives and provides methodological inspiration for a diverse range of questions and topics

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in International Relations (PSIR)

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About this book

This edited volume is the first to discuss the methodological implications of the ‘emotional turn’ in International Relations. While emotions have become of increasing interest to IR theory, methodological challenges have yet to receive proper attention. Acknowledging the plurality
of ontological positions, concepts and theories about the role of emotions in world politics, this volume presents and discusses various ways to research emotions empirically. Based on concrete research projects, the chapters demonstrate how social-scientific and humanitiesoriented methodological approaches can be successfully adapted to the study of emotions in IR. The volume covers a diverse set of both well-established and innovative methods, including discourse analysis, ethnography, narrative, and visual analysis. Through a hands-on approach, each chapter sheds light on practical challenges and opportunities, as well as lessons learnt for future research. The volume is an invaluable resource for advanced graduate and postgraduate students as well as scholars interested in developing their own empirical research on the role of emotions.

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Table of contents (14 chapters)


“This edited volume is a welcome, accessible and instructive addition to the discipline that makes a valuable contribution and develops a much-needed discussion about emotions in IR. It will speak to people of diverse methodological dispositions, both students and scholars, and shines a light on how to capture, interrogate and interpret what are subjective, and yet integral, dimensions of human relations.” (Claire Yorke, International Affairs, Vol. 94 (3), May, 2018)

“Researching Emotions in International Relations breaks new ground in taking on the difficult question of how to define, operationalise and measure emotions in international politics. Emphasising both plurality and practicality, the book not only represents the methodological spectrum, from positivist to interpretivist, but explores a treasure trove of specific methods from content, discourse, narrative to visual analysis, among others, while also showing how they are applied in the analysis of diverse emotional contexts, ranging from the study of anger in the foreign policy of Russia to affect in London’s Imperial War Museum to ressentiment in Greek government attitudes towards Germany during the debt crisis. The book is must reading for students and scholars of both emotion and methodology.” (Prof K. M. Fierke. Professor of International Relations, University of St Andrews)

“Researching Emotions is a book with many gems, new and rich avenues for studying how emotions really matterin world politics. Anyone who wants to know how the work on emotions impacts methodological and epistemological concerns of IR must read this volume.” (Prof Thierry Balzacq, Francqui Research Chair, University of Namur)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Institute of International Politics, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany

    Maéva Clément

  • FNRS / University of Namur, Namur, Belgium

    Eric Sangar

About the editors

Maéva Clément is a Research Associate and Teaching Fellow at the Institute for International Politics at the Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg, Germany.

Eric Sangar is a FNRS Research Fellow based at the University of Namur, Belgium and an associated researcher at the Centre Emile Durkheim of Sciences Po Bordeaux, France.

Bibliographic Information

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