Emotional Motives in International Relations
Rage, Rancour and Revenge
The study of emotions in International Relations is gaining wide-spread attention. Within the "emotional turn" in IR the emotion of rage however has not been given sufficient attention, instead being used as short-hand for irrationality and excess.
Rage is arguably one of the oldest and most destructive emotions in human affairs. This book offers an innovative approach that seeks to split rage into its traditional manifestation of aggression and violence, and into a less visible, passive manifestation of Nietzschean Ressentiment. This model facilitates a comprehensive understanding of revisionist motivation, from the violence of ISIS to the oppositionism of Putin’s Russia. The aim is to illustrate how a lack of violence can belie vengeful impulses and a silent rage, and how acts of violence, regardless of brutality, are often framed as a type of justice and "moral imperative" in the mind of the aggressor. This book raises serious questions and concerns about legitimacy and order in global affairs, and offers a firm theoretical basis for the exploration of present day conflicts.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Chapter 1 - Experiencing Negative Emotions: Moral Attitude Anger vs. Objective Attitude Rage, Chapter 2 - Rage in Myth and Metaphor, Chapter 3 - Moralizing Rage: Mandates in Group Violence, Chapter 4 - Rage of the Powerless: Ressentiment as "Silent Punishment", Chapter 5 - An Existentialist Reading of Revenge, Chapter 6 - A Carthaginian Peace: The early American occupation of West Germany, 1945-1947, Conclusion
Rupert Brodersen received his PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics.