Interpreting Affect Between State Leaders: Assessing the Political Friendship Between Winston S. Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Yuri van Hoef
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)


This chapter conceptualizes friendship and operationalizes it through Mark Bevir’s and R. A. W. Rhodes’ Interpretive Political Science (IPS). This method is illustrated by assessing the political friendship between Winston S. Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Because friendship is such an unfathomable and highly individual phenomenon, this chapter takes a distinctly interpretivist approach. Therefore, this chapter is of particular interest to scholars who want to make sense of the role of personal relations in IR, but find traditional IR theories and methods unsatisfactory. Studying friendship between state leaders differentiates itself from the current state of the art in the studies of emotions and friendship in IR, because it examines friendship at the intermediary level, rather than at the individual or the collective level.



I am grateful for the guidance of the editors, Maéva Clément and Eric Sangar, and the feedback provided by two anonymous reviewers. Further valuable comments on this chapter were provided to me by participants of the CEEISA-ISA 2016 Joint International Conference at the University of Ljubljana, particularly Brent J. Steele, Jelena Subotic, and Felix Berenskoetter. Finally, this chapter would not have existed at all without Katharina Höne inviting me to her expertly organized workshop IR’s feelings at the 2015 EISA Pan-European Conference at the University of Catania, where I received treasurable feedback that allowed me to explore the role of emotions on an entirely new level.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuri van Hoef
    • 1
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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