#Reading The Cultural Politics of Emotion

The beauty of social sciences is in the diversity of approaches on which they’re built. Although not an explicit incursion of political philosophy into the realm of international relations, The Cultural Politics of Emotion is one of those seminal works whose influence extends well beyond its original scope. Ahmed adopts almost a journalistic tone when inquiring the importance of emotions in policymaking and collective action: she links the war on terror with the integrity of a public and private body, collective grief with personal estrangement, public outrage with the preservation of an image of the self. Her ideas on emotions as a collective construct, rather than individual powers shaping the community, are worth the interest of anybody interested in the behavior of states in the international arena. Particularly thought-provoking is the fluidity of the barrier between the single and the community: our only suggestion is to take your time with this dense lecture, which deserves much more than a superficial reading.

The Cultural Politics of Emotion, by S. Ahmed. Routledge, 232 pages. Buy on Amazon.

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