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At the same time that anger became a less acceptable emotion in rulers, the joy of military conquest and the treasures obtained through war shifted instead to emphasize joy from peacemaking. If Charlemagne, for example, handled a situation in a peaceful way, he would return home happy.

Because clergy were often the authors of these histories, they perhaps also became the basis of sermons for laypeople, adapted from the original Latin and forming a broader pastoral program. However, they also addressed the war leaders of the world: kings and their followers. The silver open-back vintage-style gown includes a striking chainmail jewelry inset created in collaboration with Toronto jewelry designer Kyra Matsui.

On Friday, Sept. Celebrated for his two-volume biography of St. Going by the dictionary definition, you would be hard-pressed to differentiate between an emotional state and a mood or temperament, which makes classifying things such as boredom, optimism, excitement or apathy incredibly difficult. Likewise, there appears to be a great deal of overlap between our emotional states and our physical condition. Rather than being an emotional experience as such, these examples seem to be more of a value judgement about what is right and what is just, how emotions experienced are closely related to our normative beliefs as individuals.

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The idea that emotions simply signify feelings, in other words, seems insufficient. Scholars arguing that emotions should be viewed as a cultural construct, which we follow here, take issue with approaches that focuses on the cognitive dimension of our emotional experiences and also studies on emotions that places more emphasis on physiological, neurological and biological dimension of emotional experiences.

Such a focus, which has been used to great effect by postcolonial, feminist and queer theorists, means a focus on, not just what emotions are, but also what they do. For example, Lauren Berlant has focused her attention to the effects of compassion in producing and maintaining exclusionary practices. The emphasis of compassion, she argues, is not on the experiences of those who are suffering but the experiences of those watching from afar ; see also Spelman ; Welland this volume.


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Some of the most exciting work being done on such performative power of emotions is by Sara Ahmed. When we are scared, for example, we are not simply responding to some existential danger that this person or object poses but to the cultural memories and shared social norms that has marked them as dangerous in our minds. Likewise, the hate we might feel towards certain groups of people cannot be understood as the manifestation of some innate dislike for them that is buried deep within us.


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Moreover, the experience of this hatred or fear is not a passive occurrence but works to reaffirm the boundaries between us and them and strengthen the notion that they are a group that should be approached with caution Affect has traditionally been used as a noun to signify an inner disposition or feeling, or a mental state, mood or emotion. Moreover, affect can be used as a transitive verb to indicate the ways in which something or someone may cause a particular effect, material or otherwise.

Dr Emma Hutchison

In this sense, affect can be used to explain effects on the mind or feelings of a person, the ways in which someone can be impressed upon, moved and touched. It also signifies the material effects that can be made, the physical imprints that might be left after a particular encounter between two objects or the physiological impressions left upon the body.

Within the academic literature, affect has been used in a variety of different ways and although there is no agreed definition of what affect is, studies of affect generally tend to move beyond a focus on single emotions to explore our ability to affect and be affected in more depth. To some, it is important to separate affect from emotion in the sense that where emotions might be used to denote a more amplified, developed and coherent form of experience, affect is seen as something that is before emotion: Affect gives you away: the tell-tale heart; my clammy hands; the note of anger in your voice; the sparkle of glee in their eyes Affect is the cuckoo in the nest; the fifth columnist out to undermine you; your personal polygraph machine.

Others are careful not to overstate a distinction between emotion and affect. Affect to Massumi is that feeling of dread that seems to creep up on you when walking home late at night: the goose-bumps that cover the skin, the tension in the shoulders, the hairs that stand up on the back of your neck that seem to appear when you catch a glimpse of a strange shadow or hear an unexpected sound The suggestion that affects can be understood as pre-personal, non-subjective character of affect does not mean that they are asocial or that it can be located and contained within a single body Massumi In a recent textbook on affect theory, Gregory J.

In this sense, affects are transmitted between bodies to the extent that the moods of others can have a physical and psychological impact on others without their consent. In other words, even when we feel we have the same feeling, we do not necessarily have the same relationship to that feeling Ahmed Research on emotions, politics and war Although the emotional and affective dimension of war has largely been ignored within the discipline of IR, there have been some important interventions.

Perhaps most prominently, Jonathan Mercer has built on developments in Psychology and neuroscience to argue that even the most hard-headed of rational-choice scenarios do not work unless you take into account the feelings of those expected to make a [rational] decision within these systemic constraints; Mercer shows how emotions are rational Mercer Andrew Ross has highlighted the role of emotions in sustaining identities and norms in the international arena, for example, in order to understand why states choose to conform to certain international norms but violate others.

Similarly, building on social psychology research, Brent Sasley argues that states can and should be theorised as groups that have emotional reactions These contributions, although adding to how emotions matter in IR, remain focused on how emotions matter to states, or to how statesmen are making decisions in the name of the state.

As such, they do not explore emotions through the everyday experiences of those actually, personally, affected by war. Alex Danchev , for example, reflects upon emotions as military strategy and argues that humiliation and shame were an essential part of the interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and beyond.

Similarly, Paul Saurette claims that American counter-terrorism initiatives cannot be understood without paying attention to the humiliation that they experienced when attacked and their desire to humiliate others in response; points that are echoed by Khaled Fattah and Karin M. Fierke ; see also Fierke Furthermore, discussing emotion as affect, some scholars in and beyond IR have focused their attention on the manipulation, indeed the politics, of fear after the terror attacks in the USA in as a way of justifying security measures against unrealised future threats, both domestically and in the form of military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Anger, war and feminist storytelling — Monash University

The affective dimension to this policy, Anderson argues, is that by rebuilding local amenities, providing healthcare and reopening schools, counterinsurgents are trying to create atmospheres of hope, respect and trust within the location population b: Others have focused on emotions as individual and shared social experiences. Trauma is also a theme that is addressed by Emma Hutchison in her work on the constitution of identity, security and community in the aftermath of the Bali bombing in Although trauma is often viewed as experience that isolates individuals and undermining any sense of community, Hutchison argues that the narratives used to make sense of a traumatic event can help to produce a sense of community and togetherness Moreover, acknowledging the role of emotions in war also means recognising how emotions form part and impacts upon us as researchers of war.

In a forum edited by Christine Sylvester in International Studies Review , emotional challenges in relation to being researchers of war were addressed. The point was made that not only do we need to remain open to the emotional experiences of those we are studying but we also need to address our own emotional experiences as researchers. Within this literature, the terms emotion and affect are sometimes used interchangeably, whereas to some authors it is the distinction between emotion and affect that matters most. Others distinguish between macro and micro approaches to the study of emotions.

And, within the micro perspective some draw on developments within neuroscience and brain psychology and others on feminist engagements with bodies and embodiment. With this, by default limited and partial, discussion of a complex and at times contradictory area of research we do not wish to offer one single definition of either of these ways to analyse the emotional. Rather, we encourage creativity as a method.

Outline of this book We have divided the book into two themed sections, the first looks at the different ways scholars have theorised the relationship between emotions, affect and war, focusing specific attention on competing methodological claims. The second, by contrast, focuses on the different ways that emotional experiences of war can help us better understand contemporary practices of violence.

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Yet, as our readers will find, several chapters touch upon both of these aspects. Thus, the outline provided here is only one of many ways in which the chapters speak to each other. Indeed, we hope that our readers will find their own ways to connect and explore the methodological, empirical and analytical links between the thought-provoking chapters in this volume.

In the second chapter, Marysia Zalewski offers a rather different reflection on the political power of emotions. Starting with a feeling, a personal encounter, an uncomfortable moment, Zalewski also illustrates the difficulty in theorising emotions academically. In the third chapter, Karin Fierke takes a more overarching approach as she explores collective, social and cultural aspects of human dignity and its negative counterpart, humiliation. In a similar way to state sovereignty, Fierke argues, human dignity is about existential value, however, it is about more than survival; it is about the importance of autonomy to the dignity of human life.

She argues that as a result of the fact that human dignity is seen as an existential value in international law, today there is a global emotionology; the norms that shape appropriate expression of emotion are global which means that both awareness and expression of basal emotions such as human dignity and humiliation are facilitated. Chapter 4 and 5 offer methodological discussions on emotions, politics and war.

First, Ty Solomon calls upon studies of war to focus on emotions through the role of the body. He argues that much work in IR and security studies still remains too disembodied. Then, in a chapter that focuses on anger, Swati Parashar also discusses emotions through the body. Methodologically, Parashar focuses on feminist storytelling. Chapter 6 and 7 offer two, albeit very different, approaches on method, for how to actually study emotions, politics and war.

In fact, the aim of her chapter is to demonstrate how it is impossible to separate emotions out of being a researcher. Jauhola also suggests that ethnographic and embodied encounters, as part of mindful research, offers affective and gendered maps of a city and thereby provide alternative ways of seeing the practice of politics. For example, McDermott suggests, experiments are useful when it comes to establishing broader patterns, such as risk perception of threats. Her chapter, thus, both offers a defense of a positivist epistemological perspective and a suggestion as to how experiments can complement other, more in-depth and subjective, analyses of emotions and emotionality, politics and war.

The first three chapters do so by focusing on soldiers, soldiering experiences and contexts. First, in Chapter 8 Julia Welland reflects upon the role of compassion in practices of contemporary war-making, and, more specifically, the idea of the soldier as a compassionate actor. She shows not only how contemporary wars and counter-insurgency policy are justified through ideas about compassion but also how compassion can work to conceal the ongoing violence and obscenity of war.

In Chapter 9, Victoria Basham focuses on how the appropriate control and expression of emotion is integral to soldiering, and also how such regulation of emotion is profoundly gendered.

Table of contents

More specifically, Basham focuses on expressions of boredom and joy. This means that while expressions of combat as pleasureable for men is normalized and gender-conforming, similar expressions by women are not. Crucially, however, Basham points out that this is not based on the necessities for the military to function but is instead a result of how the emotional spaces and temporalities to do with soldiering have long been gendered.

She notes that there has been a shift from stoicism to emotional self-governance. However, this also means that the responsibility for preventing mental ill-health among soldiers is put on, not only the soldiers themselves, but their family. The family, Howell argues, is treated as a military instrument. Several chapters in the second section of the book interestingly explore the politics of grief and trauma. In Chapter 11, Helen Parr reflects upon the role of grief in relation to conservative nationalism and militarization in Britain during the armed conflict with Argentina over the Falklands Islands.

Parr explores the contrasting expressions of grief between the public display as formal commemoration and the emotions expressed through lived experiences, by soldiers as well as civilians. Parr argues that the display of grief was inherently gendered and that this forms part of the politics of how certain narratives and stories of war are more likely to be told, and thereby remembered, than others. In Chapter 12, Jack Holland turns his attention to the articulation of affect during and after the terror attacks in the United States on 11 September, As a result, Holland argues that while the emotional experiences of citizens matter, during moments of perceived national crisis, the state has the potential to control such affective narratives along particular political and policy agendas.

By reflecting upon the work and life of British war photographer Don McCullin, in Chapter 13 Tom Gregory explores the relationship between photographs of human suffering and the emotional responses that they may or may not engender. Focusing on a much broader range of photographs, they explore how representation of war works in a contemporary world saturated with images of violence. They show why it is important to pay closer attention to emotions linked to notions of identity, belonging and community in general and for communities to actively embrace, acknowledge and express acceptance of the impact of violence and suffering involved in the trauma of war.

To this end, Hutchison and Bleiker suggest that grief and trauma could be seen as two sides of the same coin and that a politics of grief can function as an alternative way for communities to work through the emotional trauma post-conflict, as a way to transform post-war emotions such as fear and anger to empathy. The book ends with a concluding reflection around the perhaps most challenging part of emotions research: methods and methodology.

ROUTLEDGE Emotions Politics And War (Hb)

For future research on emotions, politics and war, we encourage epistemological clarity, methodological diversity and, above all, creativity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Ahmed, S. Durham: Duke University Press. Anderson, B. Basham, V. Routledge: Abingdon. Berlant, L. Register for the Conference. Download the Conference Programme. Emotions are increasingly viewed as key to interpreting rising nationalisms in Europe, media responses to terrorism, or the backroom dealings of politicians imagined with murderous intentions towards their colleagues.

Emotions are not just for high-politics, of course, but implicated in power relationships at all social levels — infusing analyses of class, gender and race, household dynamics, or the relationship between researcher and the researched. Emotions can be imagined as political through their role in shaping and mediating human relationships, but also as politicised when performed or practiced in everyday life.