More Rigor to Emotions! A Comparative, Qualitative Content Analysis of Anger in Russian Foreign Policy

  • Regina Heller
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)


This chapter puts forward the argument that we can only make full sense of the constitutive role of emotions in international relations by integrating them into a broader and more systematic picture. Sometimes conventional interpretative methods appear unsystematic and arbitrary and lack the possibility of generalization. This chapter advocates for the inclusion of more systematic comparative elements, a more longitudinal perspective as well as a more sensitive treatment of the ‘anger agents’. Using the example of post-Soviet Russia, the chapter outlines the design of a comparative, qualitative content analysis (QCA) of semantic anger patterns in Russian official speech since the mid-1990s. The methodology has several advantages: It provides constructivist research with a more stringent ‘theory testing’ potential and it produces more robust insight about the interplay between emotions and international policy.



This article was written in the course of the research project “Claiming respect. Tracing the socio-emotional dimension of Russia’s relations with the West” funded by the German Research Council (DFG).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina Heller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)HamburgGermany

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