Handbook of Critical International Relations
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Handbook of Critical International Relations

Edited by Steven C. Roach

Comprising a plurality of perspectives, this timely Handbook is an essential resource for understanding past and current challenges to democracy, justice, social and gender equality, identity and freedom. It shows how critical international relations (IR) theory functions as a broad-based and diverse critique of society.
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Chapter 5: A critical perspective on emotions in international relations

Simon Koschut

Abstract

This chapter discusses emotions in the discipline of international relations (IR) from a critical perspective, meaning that emotions are theorized as contextual, relational, and shifting. Despite the strong forces of the rational actor paradigm in the academic climate, the last decade has seen an explosion of what may be called critical emotion research. While critical emotion research encompasses a broad and complex range of approaches and topics of inquiry, it shares three core assumptions: that emotions and reason are not distinct, but are intertwined in all decision-making processes; that emotions, rather than being limited to individual and private experiences, are socially constructed and experienced, particularly through language; and that every culture inculcates rules and structures of feeling that serve to produce and reproduce dominant cultural values and norms.

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