Studying emotions in security and diplomacy: Where we are now and challenges ahead

2019-10-30T15:25:37Z (GMT) by Michelle Pace Ali Bilgic
The core objective of this special issue has been to shed light on emotions as (1) frames that shape interpersonal diplomatic relations, (2) as key tools that are used as part of the statecraft's toolbox, and (3) as formative/productive dynamics with real effects on human beings—that, in turn, often construct and maintain conflicts. It is therefore pertinent that we interrogate the political psychology of individual, collective, mass, and communal emotions and how these are often (mis)used in diplomacy and security narratives to legitimize politicians' decisions and practices. This concluding article provides a state of the art account of the study of emotions in International Relations (IR), sums up the main findings from all special issue contributions and constructively explores potential challenges ahead for the study of emotions in IR, especially in security and diplomacy studies. It concludes with an appeal for the development of a multiperspective approach—that is, one that combines social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities—for a nuanced study of the role of emotional work in state, diplomatic as well as security narratives and practices. This approach will in turn require methodological pluralism in how we go about, as reflexive researchers, our emotional research.