Emotions in World Politics (?)

by dave

« Abstract : Emotions play an increasingly important role in international relations research. This essay briefly surveys the development of the respective debates and then offers a path forward. The key challenge, we argue, is to theorize the processes through which individual emotions become collective and political. We further suggest that this is done best by exploring insights from two seemingly incompatible scholarly tendencies: macro theoretical approaches that develop generalizable propositions about political emotions and, in contrast, micro approaches that investigate how specific emotions function in specific circumstances. Applying this framework we then identify four realms that are central to appreciating the political significance of emotions: (1) the importance of definitions; (2) the role of the body; (3) questions of representation; and (4) the intertwining of emotions and power. Taken together, these building blocks reveal how emotions permeate world politics in complex and interwoven ways and also, once taken seriously, challenge many entrenched assumptions of international relations scholarship.

In the past decade research on emotions in world politics has undergone a radical transformation. Having begun largely as a push to critique the long-held dichotomy of emotion and reason, a growing number of international relations scholars now see emotions as an intrinsic part of the social realm and thus also of world politics. Emotions have consequently been probed for new insights into a wide range of traditional and non-traditional political phenomena. It has even become common to speak of an ‘emotional turn’.

Calls to provide a place for emotions in political analysis have been met with little dispute. So compelling is the case for emotions that few would now explicitly challenge the claim that emotions play political roles. However, at the same time new emotions research, proliferating, insightful, and important as it is, has remained a relatively disparate intellectual movement. Both established and junior scholars explore the issues at stake in a diverse and theoretically rich manner, but often do not build on each other as effectively as they could. Emotions matter at so many different levels of analysis that scholars engage them in numerous seemingly unrelated ways, from the neuroscientific study of brain stimuli to the historical transformation of collective fear. As a result, key common questions remain unanswered. What is at stake in theorizing political emotions and what is the key contribution of doing so? Is a general theory of emotions in international relations possible, or desirable? What methods are most appropriate to render emotions susceptible to political scrutiny?

The purpose of this essay is to engage these questions in view of developing the outlines of a shared research agenda. We proceed in two steps. First, we offer a brief survey of existing research on emotions and world politics. Second, we carve out a path forward.

We argue that the key challenge consists of theorizing the processes through which individual emotions become collective and political. This is also the key focus of the present Forum, for if emotions are to be relevant to global politics then they have to have some kind of collective dimension. But how exactly individually experienced emotions become political is both highly complex and hotly disputed. States, for instance, have no biological mechanisms and thus cannot experience emotions directly. How, then, can the behavior of states be shaped by emotions?

We further argue that the links between private and collective emotions can best be identified and examined by exploring combined insights from two seemingly contradictory scholarly tendencies: macro and micro approaches. Both deal with group level emotions and political phenomenon, but they do so in different ways. Macro approaches develop generalizable theoretical propositions about the emergence, nature, function, or impact of political emotions. Scholars here seek to identify commonalities about how people and political phenomenon are linked to emotions across time and space. While essential and insightful, such macro approaches face the challenge of understanding how specific emotions, such as fear or empathy, acquire different meanings in different cultural contexts. The ensuing risks of homogenizing emotions are met head on by micro studies, which investigate how specific emotions function in specific circumstances. This is to say that they take on at least two dimensions: they isolate and examine the political significance of certain emotions or they scrutinize how general affective positions shape very concrete political behaviors and phenomena. Often compelling too, these approaches face the challenge of articulating theoretical insights and have significance beyond the particular empirical patterns they investigate. We see these poles between macro and micro approaches as neither fixed more mutually exclusive. Indeed, a combination of them – through a focus on the links between individual and collective emotions – offers great opportunities to bring out the best from both traditions and to carve out a promising way forward.

We begin with providing readers with an accessible one-stop overview of research on emotions and world politics. We discuss early contributions and then show how our macro/micro framework adds value to prevailing ways of classifying the literature on emotions, such as the distinction between cognitive and affective or between latent and emergent approaches. The core of the essay then discusses four key challenges that are central to the task of theorizing political emotions: (1) the importance of definitions, (2) the position of the body, (3) questions of representation, and (4) the intertwining of emotions and power. We see these realms as basic building blocks, to be scrutinized and expanded, in a collective effort to increase understanding of how emotions not only permeate world politics but also, once taken seriously, uproot many well entrenched assumptions of international relations scholarship. We end the essay with a short overview of the contributions in this Forum, revealing how each of them provides insights that help to theorize the political space between individual and collective emotions.

We do not claim to be comprehensive in our assessment of the role that emotions play in world politics. The specific format of this Forum calls for short engagements. Further work needs to be done on central challenges that we touch upon only briefly in this essay, including the gendered and cultural dimensions of emotions or their ethical implications. The same is the case with engaging disciplines that have for long taken on emotions, such as psychology, sociology, geography, or anthropology. Questions of method are crucial too, not least because they explain why emotions remain understudied even though their political role has for long been recognized. All too often the call to take emotions seriously ended up in lament about how difficult it is to study their internal and seemingly elusive nature. While we do not deal with issues of method directly, the framework we develop provides a theoretical base with which to study precisely how emotions are a fundamental force in everyday world politics.

Early attempts to address the curious absence of theorizing emotions
Emotions have for long played an implicit but important role in international relations. In fact, few realms are more infused with emotion: war and terrorism, for instance, are highly emotional phenomena. Fear and anger play a key role in political realism, from Thucydides to Hobbes and from Morgenthau to Waltz (Robin 2004; Ross 2013; Linklater 2014, 574–78). Trust has, likewise, been central to liberal visions of a more cooperative international order (Booth and Wheeler 2007). However, these and other emotions have rarely been addressed and theorized directly. In most instances, emotions were simply seen as issues or phenomena to which rational decision makers react. The result is a somewhat paradoxical situation where emotions have been implicitly recognized as central but, at the same time, remained largely neglected in scholarly analyses (Crawford 2000, 116, 118).

The historical absence of serious theoretical engagements with emotions is part of a deeper modern attitude that depicts emotions in opposition to reason and rationality (de Sousa 1987; Elster 1999). Emotions have long been portrayed as either irrational responses or purely personal experiences that have no relevance to public life. Political decisions were meant to be free of passion, for giving in to impulsive urges would inevitably lead to irrational acts of violence and harm. It is not surprising, then, that until recently international relations scholarship has largely structured itself, implicitly or explicitly, around rational actor models. This remained the case even at a time when other disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and feminist philosophy, had long started to examine emotions.

Studies in political psychology and foreign policy were among the first international relations approaches to take emotions seriously. Emerging in the 1970s, the respective contributions explored the relationship between emotion and reason in the process of decision making. They opposed the assumption that decisions are taken on the basis of ‘classical rationality’, stressing, instead, that leaders have often no choice but to draw upon ideas and insights that may involve ‘the emotional rather than the calculating part of the brain’ (Hill 2003, 116; see also Jervis, Lebow and Stein 1985).

While opening up new ways of understanding emotions, there were also limits to early studies in political psychology. Many approaches, particularly those that deal with psychology and deterrence, still operated within the rational actor paradigm. Emotions were seen as interferences with or deviations from rationality. They were perceived to create ‘misperceptions’ (Jervis 1976) that undermine responsible political analyses and actions. Such positions leave intact the divide between thinking and feeling which, in a highly problematic way, continues to underpin much of international relations research.

The development of emotions research: between cognitive/affective and latent/emergent approaches
Over the past decade, numerous scholars have started to address these and other gaps in understanding. Jonathan Mercer and Neta Crawford were among the first to do so, which is why they are the featured essayists in this Forum. They situated emotions at the very heart of political reasoning. Mercer examined the role of emotions in supposedly ‘rational’ decision-making and collective political processes, such as the construction of inter-group identities (Mercer 2005, 2006, 296–99). He stressed that ‘understanding how rational actors think requires turning to emotions’ (Mercer 2013, 247). Crawford too critiqued traditional models of international political behavior, suggesting that scholars rethink not only rationalist assumptions but also reductionist views of how particular emotions function in world politics (Crawford 2000, 2009).

Mercer’s and Crawford’s work has substantially influenced attempts to theorize emotions in world politics. The need to rethink the dichotomy of emotion and rationality is now well recognized. There are meanwhile countless studies that examine the issues at stake, so much so that surveying them in a short essay is impossible. Where once emotions were neglected or actively demonized they have now become one of the most exciting theoretical and empirical research areas in international relations.

There are numerous ways to make sense of this extensive and rapidly growing body of literature. Classifying is always a process of imposing order on far more complex phenomena and ideas. It inevitably involves choices that conceal as much as they reveal.

Prevailing classifications revolve, not surprisingly, around well accepted psychological categories. They distinguish, for instance, between cognitive and affective, as well as between latent and emergent approaches. Marcus Holmes (2013) has recently applied such a dual axis in a compelling manner. Cognition oriented scholars consider emotions as a form of knowledge and evaluative thought (Frijda 1986; Nussbaum 2001, 1–22; Hutto 2012, 177). Anger, for instance, implies that something thought to be bad or wrong has happened. Emotions are thus seen as both forms of insight and sources for political decision. Opposing such a cognitive stance, another tradition, going back to William James, sees emotions not primarily as thoughts, judgments, and beliefs, but as non-reflective bodily sensations and moods more appropriately captured with the term affect (see, for e.g., Massumi 2002; Thrift 2004; Clore and Huntsinger 2009, 40–44).

Neuroscientific discoveries have meanwhile validated a more integrated ‘hybrid’ approach, suggesting that emotions arise from a combination of both conscious and unconscious as well as cognitive and bodily perceptions (Jeffery 2011, 144; see also Jeffery 2014; LeDoux 1995; Cunningham, Dunfield, and Stillman 2013). This is, in fact, why neuroscience is so important and will be extensively debated in this Forum: it provides concrete evidence for the idea that decisions and judgments are fundamentally imbued with emotion. Emotions are thus an intrinsic part of how politics is conducted, perceived, and evaluated.

The distinction between latent and emergent models adds an extra layer of interpretation. Latent models assume emotions are always already present. Fear, for instance, precedes or perhaps even causes political behavior. Emotions are said to precipitate physiological change and cognitive recognition. Emergent models do not necessarily claim the opposite, but, rather, argue for a deeper understanding of the complex links and interrelated nature of cognition, feeling, emotions, and actions. Rather than forming a pre-existing background, emotions here are seen as ‘emergent properties’ of an interactive body–mind system (Coan 2010, 278), which itself has been constituted over time through socially and cultural conditioned forms of perception and experience (see also Holmes 2013).

Toward an alternative conceptualization: between macro and micro approaches
We opt for an alternative way of making sense of emotions research, one that revolves around a macro/micro distinction. We do so not because such an approach is more accurate than either a cognitive/affective or a latent/emergent classification, but because it offers us an ideal way to synthesize existing emotions research and identify a coherent theoretical path forward. Our conception aims not to preference one theoretical account of emotions over others (such as cognitive vs. affective), but to subordinate such debates to what we see as the key challenge facing international relations’ emotions scholars: understanding the concrete processes through which seemingly individual emotions either become or are at once public, social, collective, and political.

At its most basic distinction, macro approaches devise general theories of how emotions matter in world politics while micro studies focus on how specific emotions gain resonance in particular political circumstances. However, there are also numerous important similarities between macro and micro approaches. Both seek to capture what emotions are and how they function in world politics. Both agree that emotions are more than just individual and private phenomena and, as such, require wider political theorization. The respective contributions draw from different disciplines and chart different paths, yet taken together these inquiries examine how emotions help to constitute the social realm in ways that mediate political identities, communities, and ensuing behaviors.

Let us now consider the macro/micro distinction in more detail. Both Mercer and Crawford are important contributors to both macro and micro approaches, thus revealing how a combination of them is possible. In this Forum, Crawford offers generalizable macro propositions about the institutionalization of two particular emotions, fear and empathy. Mercer, by contrast, develops a macro model for understanding state-based emotions. Other scholars build on Mercer’s earlier work that explores the link between emotions, beliefs, and identity. Brent Sasley, for instance, uses inter-group emotions research to theorize how emotions can converge in a group as large as a state (Sasley 2011).

These and numerous other macro approaches are both crucial and convincing. They highlight the need for abstraction, for distilling generalizable properties about the politics of emotions. Examples here includes work on the relationship between emotions and reason or the manner in which this relationship influences political issues, from nationalist attitudes and state behavior to identity, sovereignty, and power.

However, macro approaches also face conceptual challenges. While they theoretically recognize links between culture and emotions, these models have, by definition, difficulties actually accounting for the content of these links. Expressed in other words, macro models run the risk of homogenizing emotions, of lumping together emotional phenomena that are, in reality, far more complex and diverse. Consider how Andrew Linklater (2014, 574–78) outlines that anger varies greatly from one cultural and political context to another: how the United States used anger to legitimize the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is completely different from how it manifested in the streets of Athens or Madrid during the global financial crisis, or from how certain Islamic radicals channeled this particular emotion to rally behind threats against them. Is it desirable − or even possible − to develop models that seek to subsume all of these different emotional phenomena under one conceptual umbrella? Can macro models ever account for how specific emotions acquire different meanings and credence in different contexts?

Micro approaches provide some clues to answering these questions. They investigate how specific emotions are constituted by and function in particular cultural and political environments. They address, head on, the very challenges faced by macro models, particularly the risk of homogenizing emotions. Micro approaches focus less on establishing generalizable principles and more on analyzing the unique ways and mechanisms through which emotions exist and, in turn, become socially and politically significant. Examples here include studies that examine how emotions associated with humiliation and dishonor constitute communities (Callahan 2004; Fattah and Fierke 2009) or generate antagonistic political practices (Tuathail 2003; Saurette 2006; Löwenheim and Heimann 2008). Others investigate how the emotional dimensions of trauma and memory shape the constitution of modern statehood (Edkins 2003; Fierke 2004; Zehfuss 2007) or how emotions associated with trust, friendship, and honor (or, by contrast, anxiety, suspicion, and anger) influence diplomatic negotiations, alliances, and defense policies (Lebow 2006; Ruzicka and Wheeler 2010; Sasley 2010; Eznack 2011; Hall 2011). Others again study the emotional foundations of ethnic conflict (Petersen 2002), humanitarian intervention (Pupavac 2004), development (Wright 2012), and political economy (Gammon 2008; Widmaier 2010).

Debating the nature, function, and significance of particular emotions is one of the issues at stake in micro studies. In this Forum, for instance, both Mercer and Crawford engage empathy but do so from different perspectives. Some of the commentators, such as McDermott, extend these debates or even question whether or not empathy actually is an emotion. She further critiques that distinct emotions, such as anger, are too often lumped together in broad categories that wrongly assign either positive or negative value to emotional experiences.

Micro approaches offer exceptionally rich insights but they too face conceptual challenges. To be convincing, they explore the unique cultural meaning of the emotions they investigate. But how can we extrapolate from this appreciation the broader insight needed for the establishment of theoretical propositions? Does the attempt of doing so inevitably produce a grand narrative that does injustice to the unique context within which emotions emerge? While some have started to address these issues (Fattah and Fierke 2009; Bially Mattern 2011; Fierke 2013), there is still a long way to go until we know exactly what the contextually bound nature of emotions tell us about the prospects of theorizing emotions in world politics. Needed are more inquiries that explore how micro-political processes can be understood in a more macro-political frame. The ultimate objective here, we suggest, is to avoid either a totalizing grand theory or a form of cultural relativism that eschews larger theoretical propositions.

The key challenge: how do individual emotions become collective and political?
Because of the ability to highlight the interaction between different levels of analysis, a micro/macro framework is ideally suited to address what we believe is the most important challenge in political research on emotions, or at least the one that precedes all others: to theorize the processes that turn individual emotions collective, social, public, and, thus, political. Unless one can show that emotions matter beyond a purely individual and private level, there is no ground to examine their relevance for global politics. Both macro and micro approaches tackle this task, but they do so in different ways.

Even though there is broad agreement that emotions are shaped by society and culture and are, as such, more than individual and private, scholars continue to question how to best conceptualize and empirically investigate emotions as shared, collective phenomena. Doing so is seen as critical: understanding and theorizing the role emotions play in shaping and motivating political communities cuts to the core of why international relations scholars should care about emotions in the first place.

The key, we argue, lies in theorizing the actual processes that render emotions political. Focusing on the specific mechanisms through which emotions are socially embedded and can, in particular circumstances, become collective enables us to theorize the politics of emotion in a manner that reduces the risk of homogenizing them. Conceived of in this way, through the mechanisms that enable emotions to become meaningful within particular contexts, the culturally and historically specific nature of emotions remains intact while at the same time enabling understandings of the wider conceptual processes through which emotions play a role in world politics. The ultimate objective of such an approach, which is far beyond the task of a short essay, would be a model through which emotions − both in terms of specific emotions and in a general sense – can be theorized in a non-essentialist manner (see Lutz 1988, 5). Of course, the middle ground between micro and macro approaches that we suggest here cannot entirely sidestep the dangers of homogenizing emotions. Any theoretical model risks doing so. However, the ensuing consequences can be mitigated by a careful articulation of the processes that link micro and macro approaches.

Thus far explorations of the links between individual and collective emotions have taken shape, not surprisingly, predominantly at the level of the state. This is the case in this Forum as well as in other research (e.g. Löwenheim and Heimann 2008; Eznack 2011). Theorizing the state as an emotional actor, scholars tends to draw links between emotions and the type of factors that bind individuals together. The more people associate with common beliefs or identities the more they may share emotions, these studies contend, even at the broad level of the state (Mercer 2010, 2014, 515–35; Sasley 2011). This is how and why, for these and like-minded scholars, a state may experience emotions insofar that the state is essentially a group constituted by individuals that cultivate, share, and identify with each other emotionally.

However, not all scholars are convinced by the apparent leap from individual to state emotions. States, some argue, are ‘ontologically incapable of having feelings’ (Digeser 2009, 327). This is not to deny that emotions and affective dispositions play an important role at the level of collectives. Communities are key to how emotions attain meaning and are interpreted (Fierke 2014, 563–67; see also Lutz 1988; Ahmed 2004). However, difficult questions that may enable the theorization of emotions at a level as vast as the state remain largely unanswered. Who is a state and how exactly are its emotions formed and expressed? Whose emotional attachments are representative of the state? What are the emotional links or breaks between states and governments, nations, or various sub-state groups? And how do we, as Ling and Crawford ask in this Forum, theorize how emotions are embodied in actors and actions that transgress and challenge states, from social movements to transnational institutions?

The task ahead therefore lies in translating a commonsensical position on the importance of collective emotions into a more thorough understanding of how exactly emotions matter at the level of world politics. We now identify four issues that are crucial to this process: definitions, the body, representations, and power. While they are not the only issues that international relations emotions researchers face, they offer a starting point from which a more rigorous and reflective theorizing of emotions becomes possible.

Conceptualizing emotion, feeling, and affect
Just as complex as emotions is the language used to make sense of them. Most international relations scholars use the term emotion loosely, as a broad umbrella term to denote a range of different phenomena. We too do so in this essay. Yet, at the same time we recognize the importance of numerous phenomenological distinctions, such as between emotions, feeling, and affect; and there are yet other terms too, including passions (Crawford 2000, 2014, 535–57) and alief (Holmes 2013) to describe very specific aspects of emotions.

We now define the main terms used in emotions research. We do so to provide a conceptual roadmap for readers who are new to this topic. Mostly, however, we show that debates over definitions go to the very core of how to theorize links between private and collective emotions.

Although the terms emotions and feelings are used interchangeably in everyday language, there is meanwhile an extensive history of distinguishing between them. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio (2000), for instance, sees feelings as the physiological – or somatic – manifestation of emotional change. When we are afraid of something, our hearts begin to race and our muscles tense. This reaction occurs automatically and almost unconsciously. By contrast, specific emotions, such as fear, only arise after we have become aware of our physical changes; there is an element of information processing to an emotion (see also Scherer 2005, 697–98).

Mercer and Crawford engage these definitional disputes in a way that illustrates their political consequences. Following Damasio’s definition, Mercer (2014, 515–35) refers to feelings as ‘a conscious awareness that one is experiencing an emotion’. Crawford (2000, 125) too sees emotions as ‘inner states that individuals describe to others as feeling’. But both Mercer and Crawford go further and stress the need to capture the social dimensions at stake. This is why Crawford (2014, 535–57) highlights how emotions – individual and subjective as they might be – are also always intertwined with pre-existing social, cultural, and political contexts. Mercer’s very notion of ‘social emotion’ underlines this point too, for it captures how emotions become intersubjective when they relate to something social that people care about, whether it is power, status, or justice.

Reflecting on the distinction between emotions and feelings might therefore help us appreciate the connections between bodily based phenomena and the processes through which emotions are communicated to others. While feelings may emerge from within the body, they are at the same time what is at stake in the politics of emotions. Feelings are internal in that they are felt within bodies, yet they are in a sense external as well in so far that through particular social processes they bridge the divide between and connect individuals and collectives. Central here is that the specific forms feelings take − why we feel in the ways we do − are constituted at least in part through the social and cultural processes through which emotions are shaped in the first place.

The distinction between emotions and affect goes one step further. In some disciplines, such as geography, this distinction is so intensely debated that scholars differentiate between ‘emotional geography’ and ‘affective geography’ (see Thrift 2004; Thien 2005). Emotions are seen as personal and often conscious feelings that have social meaning and political consequences. Related phenomena can in this way be identified and assessed. Affective dynamics, by contrast, are seen to lie beyond representation. They are viewed as much broader phenomena that exist both before and beyond consciousness; they are a wide range of non-reflective and subconscious bodily sensations, such as mood, intuition, temperament, attachment, disposition, and even memory (in international relations see Ross 2006, 199; Sasley 2010; Eznack 2011, 2013; Holmes 2013).

There is no space here to enter the highly complex and deeply contested exchange between emotions and affect scholars (see Leys 2011). However, we would like to note that, for us, the respective distinction is not as clear-cut and as mutually exclusive as some scholars maintain. We emphasize the similarities, rather than the differences between these two traditions. Affect and emotions can be seen as intrinsically linked, for affective states are subconscious factors that can frame and influence our more conscious emotional evaluations of the social world.

Affect can then provide the conceptual tools to understand how a broad range of psycho-social predispositions produce or mediate political emotions. Recent research by Lucile Eznack (2013) illustrates the issues at stake. She shows how historically cultivated affective dispositions – both positive and negative – can temper or exacerbate hostilities between nation states and in doing so influence the nature of ensuing state behavior. Juxtaposing US anger toward Britain in the 1956 Suez Crisis with that focused toward the Soviet Union during the 1979–80 Afghanistan intervention, Eznack shows how anger at an ally/friend and an adversary/enemy alters according to the pre-existing affective dimensions of their relations.

To use the term affect is thus to make a shift from isolating specific micro-based emotions to the more general macro-level recognition that emotion, feeling, and sensations combined generate often unconscious and unreflective affective dispositions that connect and transcend individuals (Massumi 2002, 27–28, 217; Thrift 2004, 60). This position also reverberates with new international relations research. For Janice Bially Mattern (2014, 589–94), the task of singling out certain emotions becomes problematic as soon as one recognizes, as most scholars meanwhile do, that emotions and cognition are intrinsically interwoven and thus, by extension, hard to conceptually separate. For Ross too (2014, 2, 17–19), anger, fear, or other emotions are socially constructed and somewhat arbitrary categories that are not really able to capture the rich complexities of how affective energies work and circulate between political actors and communities.

Definitional disputes can never be settled, nor can concepts ever capture the far more elusive realities they seek to define. This is why we consciously use the broad term ‘emotion’ in this essay. However, conceptual disputes provide a way into understanding the substantive issues we investigate, particularly the processes through which feelings, emotions, and affect are both individual and collective: affective phenomena are historically and contextually conditioned to act upon both individuals and collectives, in turn implicating particular feelings and emotions that then enact and transform particular socio-political norms and behaviors.

Emotions and the body
Emotions cannot be understood without theorizing the role of the body. Indeed, emotions are intrinsically linked to bodies. Mercer (2014, 515–35) speaks of the ‘no body, no emotions problem’. If emotions are tied to our physicality, how exactly can they become collective and acquire political significance? Mercer’s answer is seemingly straightforward: that bodies cause emotions but emotions cannot be ontologically reduced to the body. Articulating the implications of such a position is, however, far more difficult. A state, for instance, does not have a physical body. It cannot possibly have emotions. Do politicians and diplomats experience emotions on behalf of the state? Or is it that emotions are attributed to states? Or that they are embodied in larger discursive forces that constitute the state and its meaning?

There is little scholarly agreement on this issue. At one end of the spectrum are positions that stress how emotions are experienced first and foremost in people’s bodies. McDermott’s (2014, 557–62) work exemplifies the primacy of the body in emotions theorizing. For her, a focus on physicality is essential, for ‘emotion must necessarily be grounded in somatic experience in the physical body or it would not exist at all’. In this understanding, emotions are seen to arise from a synthesis of bodily experiences, even though the meanings attached to the respective emotions are culturally determined. The body, in other words, is where emotions begin. To divorce the body from accounts of emotion would therefore be to erase the origin and meaning of feelings. In this type of somatic account, the body is so central to emotion that attempts to theorize the collective and political nature of emotions must be approached with a great deal of caution.

On the other side of the spectrum are scholars who insist that emotions should not – and cannot – be reduced to bodies. L.H.M. Ling (2014, 579–83) even stresses that emotions have normative and spiritual dimensions that actually ‘do not require embodiment’. Karin Fierke (2014, 563–67), likewise, recognizes the importance of physiological and neurological studies, but stresses that related insights ‘should not ultimately be the focus of social and political analysis at the international level’. This is the case, she argues, because individual emotions are less significant for understanding global politics than the emotions that surround political phenomena.

These juxtaposing positions represent the tension between bodily based micro approaches and more macro level attempts to theorize international relations. However, despite their diverging views, all of these scholars are convinced that emotions matter in world politics. The question is how exactly and to what extent we can understand the issues at stake. Is it possible that emotions can transcend bodies? Do emotions even need to transcend bodies to be politically significant? And, if emotions do play a role in social and political life, how does this shift from individual to collective occur?

We suggest that an appreciation of micro–macro linkages reveals how internal − bodily based − emotions become socio-politically significant. Even though we experience emotion emerging from our bodies, feelings are formed and structured within particular social and cultural environments. They are constituted in relation to culturally specific traditions, such as language, habits, and memories. This is to say that specific social and cultural surroundings influence how individuals gain an understanding of what it means to feel (Harré 1986; Lutz 1998, 5). Some scholars even argue that in this way emotions are ‘cultural products’, ‘reproduced in individuals through embodied experience’ (Abu-Lughod and Lutz 1990, 12). Emotions always have a history. How we feel in response to particular political events depends on how society suggests we should feel. To experience feelings such as anger, fear, trust, or empathy is dependent on a specific cultural context that renders such emotions meaningful and acceptable.

Insights into the social character of emotion reveal an important recognition: bodies are more than autonomous and atavistic physical entities that operate independently of their environment. Bially-Mattern (2011, 66, 76) convincingly demonstrates how individual emotions are always also collective. For her, bodies do not possess innate emotions. Rather, emotions are capabilities that bodies acquire through the contextually bound interplay of biological and social forces. They emerge from a complex combination of conscious feelings, cognition, and subconscious affect. Fierke (2013) nicely illustrates the issues at stake through a study on political self-sacrifice, such as suicide terrorism or civil disobedience. She shows how dying or injured bodies evoke certain emotions and how these emotions in turn become political by reaching and relating to various audiences. She highlights how this circulation of emotion is shaping collective identities. The body, then, is viewed not as an anatomical object or something that is distinct from the mind, but as a more complex mechanism that fuses physical and emotional features with culture and history. In this Forum Fierke underscores the cultural dimensions of what may seem ‘natural’ bodily emotions by turning to the issue of intentionality. How individuals interpret other’s actions is determined through the complex interplay of processes of communication and abstraction. Whatever the political content of these interactions are, emotions ‘attach’ us to each other in ways that either push or pull bodies together (see Ahmed 2004).

In short, neither the body nor the social realm can be privileged over the other. To elevate the body above all would be to neglect that the seemingly internal feelings invoked within bodies are constituted by external, socio-political forces. However, to deny the significance of the body would be to neglect that the body is not only the key sight of emotional experience but also that it can, through the very socially constituted feelings it embodies and performs, transgress and transform prevailing constellations of emotions, and thus politics. It is therefore imperative that political theorizations position emotions within the human body while, at the same time, recognize that emotions are far from innate or ‘natural’. What people feel physiologically as emotions is the product of social and cultural encounters and of how individuals have been socialized into managing their emotions through and within such encounters.

Representation as a key link between individual and collective emotions
Representation lies at the heart of understanding the processes that link individual and collective emotions. Two reasons stand out (see Bleiker and Hutchison 2008, Hutchison 2014).

First, representations are, in some sense, all we have when it comes to understanding emotions. Even though emotions have social origins and can resonate collectively, emotions are inherently internal. One person can never really know how another person feels. All one can understand is the manner in which emotions are expressed and communicated; whether this is done through touch, gestures, speech, sounds, or images; whether it is from one person to others or in response to events that trigger emotional responses; and whether this event is experienced directly or at a distance through media and other representations. There is always a layer of interpretation, even in neuroscientific studies of brain stimuli.

Second, and more importantly, representation is the process through which individual emotions become collective and political. For some, such as Bryce Huebner (2011, 89, 93), this process is very direct. He argues that social representations are crucial because they work comparably to ‘representations in an individual mind’, thus creating substantial conceptual support for the existence of collective emotions.

There are countless less indirect but equally crucial ways in which representations link individual and collective emotions. Consider how televised depictions of a terrorist attack set in place socially embedded emotional processes that shape not only direct survivors but also a much larger community of people. Representations can occur through images and narratives, by word of mouth, via old and new media sources, through the countless stories that societies tell about themselves and others. Ross (2014) writes of the ‘circulation of affect’; of how emotions are consciously and unconsciously diffused in numerous ways, including through their public display. For him, we can only conceive of group level emotions through the types of meaning that are manifested in the expression of emotions. This is why he urges scholars to investigate how identities are being constituted through narratives, images, and other representations (Ross 2006, 201). These are the processes through which emotions become manifest and defined. They shape identities, attachments, attitudes, behaviors, communities and, in doing so, establish the emotional fabric that binds people together (see Abu-Lughod and Lutz 1990, 13–16; Scheff 1990; Lutz 1988). There are already several studies that explicitly or implicitly turn to representational-based research to explore the consequences of how collective emotions are evoked (Fierke 2002; Ross 2006; Saurette 2006; Löwenheim and Heimann 2008; Fattah and Fierke 2009; Solomon 2012; Fierke 2013).

Representations are neither authentic nor passive. There is always a level of interpretation involved or, to express it differently, there is always a gap between a representation and what is represented therewith. This aesthetic gap is in many ways the source of politics for it contains and often masks the power to depict the world from a particular perspective (see Bleiker 2009). The literature on enactivism is particularly pertinent here. It shows how we can never represent emotions authentically for we do not have access to another person’s mind. However, we can understand emotional responses by analyzing behavior and action (Gallagher and Varga 2014). By focusing on perception as an actively lived experience that is part of how we enact and make sense of the social world, this body of literature offers opportunities to understand how emotions transgress embodiment and take on public and political dimensions (see Caracciolo 2012, 381; Hutto 2012).

In lieu of conclusion: emotions, power, and international relations theory
Few realms are more emotional than that of world politics. Politicians intuitively know how to tap into the emotions of their electorates. Fear drives and surrounds war, terrorism and the construction of strategy and security. Diplomatic negotiations could not be pursued without a basic level of trust. Empathy is central to successful peacebuilding processes. The list of examples is endless; and although present in many theories, from realism to liberalism, emotions were mostly taken for granted. They were seen as phenomena that rational policy makers deal with or react against. It is only over the last decade that emotions have come to be seen as significant, at times critical, forces in world politics. Scholars now increasingly turn to emotions. They do so for different reasons, with different theoretical assumptions and using different methods.

In their very diversity, these approaches make a simple but important point: emotions play a significant role in world politics, shaping how individuals and collectives are socialized and interact with each other. However, numerous key issues remain unanswered, not least because this new body of literature on emotions remains relatively disparate. Its numerous contributors have not been able to build on each other as effectively as they could, nor have they been able to shape the prevailing debates in international relations scholarship.

This brief survey essay has thought to identify a path forward. We searched for a middle ground between two opposing poles: marco approaches that identify generalizable propositions about the nature and function of political emotions and micro approaches that examine how specific collective emotions have political significance in specific situations. Even though macro and micro approaches are often seen as incompatible, we argued that combining them offers ideal opportunities to address what we believe is the key challenge in emotions research: to understand how individual emotions can become collective and political. We then illustrated the issues at stake through the role of the body, the significance of representation and the substantive consequences of how emotions are defined.

Once the collective dimensions of emotions are appreciated an additional topic inevitably becomes central: the links between emotions and power. Surprisingly, few scholars in international relations have so far taken on the respective issues. Ling’s commentary in this Forum is an exception. She highlights the gendered and colonial dimensions of anti-emotional international relations research. Others have shown how emotions are part of how we present, constitute, legitimize, and enact politics views and politics (see Edkins 2003; Zehfuss 2007; Steele 2010; Fierke 2013; Koschut 2014). However, so far it has been mostly sociologists and anthropologists who investigated the issues at stake. They suggest that to ‘talk about emotions is simultaneously to talk about society − about power and politics… about normality and deviance’ (Lutz 1998, 6). Power, then, is central to the constitution of emotional subjectivity; power relations play a key role in determining what can, cannot, should, or even must be said about the self and one’s emotions (see also Rosaldo 1980; Abu-Lughod and Lutz 1990, 10, 14–15; Svašek 2005, 8–10). Arlie Hochschild (1979) writes of ‘feeling rules’, of the normative expectations of how to feel in different social contexts. Such rules determine how individuals should feel in certain circumstances, at say, the birth of a child, the death of a grandparent, or the loss of a job (see also Barbalet 2001).

These links between power and emotion are, of course, rather different from how power has customarily been theorized in international relations. It is neither hard nor soft, neither imposed by military force nor coerced through economic pressure or diplomatic initiatives. Emotional power works discursively, diffused through norms, moral values, and other assumptions that stipulate − often inaudibly − how individuals and communities ought to feel and what kind of ensuing behavior is appropriate and legitimate in certain situations.

An appreciation of the links between emotions and power highlights that even if they are individual, emotions are always also collective and political. They frame what is and is not possible in politics. They reveal and conceal, enable and disable. They do so in ways that are inaudible and seemingly apolitical, which is precisely how they become political in the most profound and enduring manner: links between emotions and power shape the contours and content of world politics all while erasing the traces of doing so. The task of international relations scholars is to locate, redraw, and expose these traces.

A focus on power offers emotions researchers an ideal way to enter into a dialogue with more established international relations theories. This is not merely because of the centrality of power to all forms of international relations research, but also because it provides a place to begin to appreciate the ‘work’ emotions do: how emotions function in often unseen and invisible ways to grant (and withhold) authority and in doing so enable (and also limit) political circumstances. Indeed, an attentiveness to the intersection between emotions, power, and world politics enables a more complete appreciation of how political viewpoints are constituted and can, in particular situations, be resisted and even transformed. Examining the links between emotions and power would entail compromises and consequences on both sides. Emotions scholars would need to engage more seriously with the debates on the nature of power, including those linked to social identity, nationalism, alliances, regimes, or institutions. More conventional scholars must, in return, start considering the far-reaching implications that accompany the knowledge that emotions are, indeed, everywhere. Of course, once one does so the foundations of many international relations theories start to crumble. Rational actor models – in all their various guises – will look far less reliable, as will previous attempts to explain decision-making, crisis diplomacy, or the very logic of anarchy. To challenge rational actor paradigms is not to replace them with emotional models (see Wolf 2012). The point, rather, is to overcome this false dichotomy and to acknowledge that rationality always includes emotion just as thinking always includes feeling.

The structure of this Forum
All contributors to this Forum focus on theorizing the processes through which individual emotions become collective. They employ a macro or a micro perspective or a combination thereof.

Lead essays by Jonathan Mercer and Neta Crawford tackle the issue of collective emotions head-on. Mercer develops psychologically based macro model that articulates a series of links between individual emotions and group emotions. Showing that emotions are more than a sum of the bodily feelings they emerge from, he turns to beliefs and identities as sources of emotional attribution. Feelings can in this way, for Mercer, be sources of identification at the state level, even though states themselves do not possess physical bodies (see also Mercer 1996, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2013). Crawford renders the issues more concrete by theorizing the institutionalization of two particular emotions: fear and empathy. Combining macro and micro approaches, she seeks to understand how states and other institutions internalize particular emotional regimes and how, in turn, such emotional predispositions make particular political outlooks possible (see also Crawford 2000, 2009).

Seven Forum commentators then engage and expand on these attempts to theorize the links between private and collective emotions. Rose McDermott defends a somatic approach that locates emotions in physical bodies. For her, a focus on socio-political factors that ignores physical ones offers, at the very least, an incomplete and problematic take on emotions. However, her challenge to the other contributors is more fundamental: if emotions are irreducibly linked to bodies how exactly can they become collective and political? Karin Fierke focuses on the links between emotions and intentions which, too, are considered inside the mind of individuals (see also Fierke 2013). However, she shows at the same time that emotions and intentions are always also constituted by and embedded in collective socio-political forces. Christian Reus-Smit then engages Mercer and Crawford in detail by scrutinizing how they theorize social emotions. He argues, in particular, for the need to distinguish between different types of groups and the emotional attachments associated with them. Families, social movements, nations, governments, states, or transnational institutions are all collectives, but they are not the same type of actors or structures, nor are the emotional processes that define them necessarily comparable.

Andrew Linklater’s contribution further explores these micro–macro links by observing how collective emotions shift over time. Using process-sociology he shows how in classical antiquity anger was largely seen in positive ways but then acquired increasingly negative connotations as societies came to exert greater control over emotions that were deemed to contradict the prevailing self-image of a pacified civilization (see also Linklater 2011, 154–231). L.H.M. Ling engages the very same civilizational traditions, but detects in them colonial residues hidden behind an anti-emotional stand that denigrates all and everyone different from the rational European core. She then advocates an emancipatory model that appreciates not only multiple emotional worlds but also the cross-national links that inevitably intertwine them.

At this stage, Renée Jeffery contemplates how to supplement these macro-political insights into political emotions with more specific micro studies. As others in this Forum, she returns to neuroscience and explores both the potential and the limits of employing experiments. The most crucial challenge she identifies lies in how to articulate and methodologically evaluate the links between private and collective emotions. Janice Bially Mattern takes this approach one step further and asks: if emotion and reason are indeed as intertwined − or even as indistinguishable − as neuroscientists believe, then how can we actually study emotions? How can they be singled out as identifiable factors that shape international politics? Bially Mattern has no easy solutions, but finds hope in that emotions are no more elusive than many well studied political phenomena, from interests to power and anarchy. The concept of affect, in particular, offers potential for theory building for it shows how emotions exist before and beyond feelings, cognition, and judgment. These links between emotional and affective phenomena lie at the heart of what we seek to capture through our micro–macro framework and what is at stake in theorizing the processes that render individual emotions collective. »

Hutchison, E., & Bleiker, R. (2014). Theorizing emotions in world politics. International Theory, 6(3), 491-514.

Lectures supplémentaires / complémentaires – Partages / Curiosités / Invitation(s) au voyage :

  • Lewis, M. (2005). Bridging emotion theory and neurobiology through dynamic systems modelingBehavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(2), 169-194. 
    • [Abstract : « Efforts to bridge emotion theory with neurobiology can be facilitated by dynamic systems (DS) modeling. DS principles stipulate higher-order wholes emerging from lower-order constituents through bidirectional causal processes – offering a common language for psychological and neurobiological models. After identifying some limitations of mainstream emotion theory, I apply DS principles to emotion–cognition relations. I then present a psychological model based on this reconceptualization, identifying trigger, self-amplification, and self-stabilization phases of emotion-appraisal states, leading to consolidating traits. The article goes on to describe neural structures and functions involved in appraisal and emotion, as well as DS mechanisms of integration by which they interact. These mechanisms include nested feedback interactions, global effects of neuromodulation, vertical integration, action-monitoring, and synaptic plasticity, and they are modeled in terms of both functional integration and temporal synchronization. I end by elaborating the psychological model of emotion–appraisal states with reference to neural processes. »]
  • Crawford, N. (2014). Institutionalizing passion in world politics: Fear and empathyInternational Theory, 6(3), 535-557. 
    • [Abstract : « Emotions are a ubiquitous intersubjective element of world politics. Yet, passions are often treated as fleeting, private, reactive, and not amenable to systematic analysis. Institutionalization links the private and individual to the collective and political. Passions may become enduring through institutionalization, and thus, as much as characterizing private reactions to external phenomena, emotions structure the social world. To illustrate this argument, I describe how fear and empathy may be institutionalized, discuss the relationship between these emotions, and suggest how empathy may be both a mirror and potential antidote to individual and institutionalized fear. »]
  • KOSCHUT, S. (2014). Emotional (security) communities: The significance of emotion norms in inter-allied conflict managementReview of International Studies, 40(3), 533-558.
    • [Abstract : « What do Al-Qaeda, Human Rights Watch, and NATO have in common? They can all be understood as emotional communities. Emotional communities are ‘groups in which people adhere to the same norms of emotional expression and value – or devalue – the same or related emotions’. This article develops a conceptual framework for a particular type of emotional community in world politics: a security community. It is argued that emotion norms – the expression of appropriate emotions in a given situation – stabilise a security community during inter-allied conflict. The argument is illustrated by an empirical case study of NATO’s military intervention in Libya in 2011. The article shows how the conceptualisation of security communities as emotional communities has significant implications for the study of regional peace and security. »]
  • Mercer, J. (2014). Feeling like a state: Social emotion and identityInternational Theory, 6(3), 515-535.
    • [Abstract : « Can one use emotion at anything other than the individual level of analysis? Emotion happens in biological bodies, not in the space between them, and this implies that group emotion is nothing but a collection of individuals experiencing the same emotion. This article contends that group-level emotion is powerful, pervasive, and irreducible to individuals. People do not merely associate with groups (or states), they can become those groups through shared culture, interaction, contagion, and common group interest. Bodies produce emotion that identities experience: group-level emotion can be stronger than, and different from, emotion experienced as an individual; group members share, validate, and police each others’ feelings; and these feelings structure relations within and between groups in international politics. Emotion goes with identity. »]
  • Pouliot, V. (2008). The Logic of Practicality: A Theory of Practice of Security CommunitiesInternational Organization, 62(2), 257-288.
    • [Abstract : « This article explores the theoretical implications of the logic of practicality in world politics. In social and political life, many practices do not primarily derive from instrumental rationality (logic of consequences), norm-following (logic of appropriateness), or communicative action (logic of arguing). These three logics of social action suffer from a representational bias in that they focus on what agents think about instead of what they think from. According to the logic of practicality, practices are the result of inarticulate know-how that makes what is to be done self-evident or commonsensical. Insights from philosophy, psychology, and sociology provide empirical and theoretical support for this view. Though complementary with other logics of social action, the logic of practicality is ontologically prior because it is located at the intersection of structure and agency. Building on Bourdieu, this article develops a theory of practice of security communities arguing that peace exists in and through practice when security officials’ practical sense makes diplomacy the self-evident way to solving interstate disputes. The article concludes on the methodological quandaries raised by the logic of practicality in world politics.For helpful comments on earlier versions of this article, many thanks to Emanuel Adler, Janice Bially Mattern, Raymond Duvall, Stefano Guzzini, Jef Huysmans, Markus Kornprobst, Jennifer Mitzen, Iver Neumann, Daniel Nexon, David Welch, Alexander Wendt, and Michael Williams, as well as the journal’s reviewers. »]
  • Women’s International Thought: A New History – edited by Patricia Owens & Katharina Rietzler
  • Zarakol, A. (2014). What made the modern world hang together: Socialisation or stigmatisation? International Theory, 6(2), 311-332.
    • [Abstract : « Contrary to what is often assumed, norm-internalisation does not always lead to compliance. Normative judgements may be simultaneously internalised and outwardly rejected. Non-compliance is at times a result of hyper-awareness of the particular origin of norms, rather than an unwillingness of the would-be-recipients to do ‘good’ deeds, or their inability to understand what is ‘good’. Such is often the case for non-Western states, as I demonstrate in this article by utilising the sociological concepts of stigma and stigmatisation. In its inability to acknowledge this dynamic, which has its roots in the colonial past of the international order, the constructivist model of norm-diffusion commits two errors. On the one hand, it falls short as a causal explanation, conflating internalisation with socialisation, and socialisation with compliance. On the other hand, it reproduces existing hierarchies in the international system, treating only non-compliance as endogenously driven, but compliance as a result of external stimuli. As there is a great deal of correlation between non-compliance and political geography, such a depiction, coupled with the fact that most norms under scrutiny are ‘good’ norms, once again casts non-Western states as having agency only when they commit ‘bad’ deeds. »]
  • Harman, S. (2020). COVID-19, the UN, and Dispersed Global Health SecurityEthics & International Affairs, 34(3), 373-378. 
    • [Abstract : « The response to COVID-19 demonstrates an inclusive and dispersed form of global health security that is less reliant on the UN Security Council or the World Health Organization (WHO). While WHO remains central to fighting the pandemic, the dispersed global health security addressing the crisis is inclusive of the wider UN system, civil society, and epistemic communities in global health. As part of the special issue on “The United Nations at Seventy-Five: Looking Back to Look Forward,” this essay argues that instead of facing crisis or criticism like WHO, this inclusive and dispersed form of global health security provides mechanisms of resilience and support to the UN at the height of global political tensions surrounding COVID-19. »]
  • The human right that benefits nature, by Katarina Zimmer
  • Three concepts of recognition, by Jens Bartelson
  • (via partage facebook de la page du the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists – ICIJ) : Multinationals shifted $1 trillion offshore, stripping countries of billions in tax revenues, study says – by Scilla Alecci
    • Paradise Papers: Secrets of the Global Elite : A major global collaboration reveals secrets from one of the world’s most prestigious offshore law firms, a specialized trust company and 19 company registries in secrecy jurisdictions.
  • The International Criminal Responsibility of War’s Funders and Profiteers, by Nina H. B. Jørgensen
  • International Journal of Rural Management (Volume 17 Issue 1, April 2021)
    • Landy, F., Ruiz, L., Jacquet, J., Richard-Ferroudji, A., Sekhar, M., Guétat-Bernard, H., Oger-Marengo, M., Venkatasubramanian, G., & Noûs, C. (2021). Commons as Demanding Social Constructions: The Case of Aquifers in Rural KarnatakaInternational Journal of Rural Management17(1), 27–54.
      • [extrait : « Commons’ has become a trendy word for the last two decades that has almost replaced the ‘common pool/property resources’ concept in the dominant academic narratives. Paradoxically, whereas most of the research results highlight the decline or the disappearing of commons because of globalisation, privatization, land-use change, and so on, the notion is more and more used. What is this word that has become so trendy for describing something that is so threatened? Can we still speak of ‘commons’ if there are no more common management and shared representation of it? How does a good become a commons? In Hardin’s famous article (1968), any village grassland seems to be a ‘commons’ by nature, and so is the air we breathe or the forests where we go for hunting. It is only because of population growth that their management should stop being ‘common’ and be replaced either by a control by the state, or—rather—by privatisation. Indeed, it is often implicitly assumed that resources such as air, water or forests have specific traits, which naturally lead them to be considered less ownership-prone than, for example, cars or houses. Yet, is there really something consubstantial, inherent or inborn in air, water or biodiversity that makes them be obviously considered as a commons? The answer is negative. It is even more so if we question their situation as ‘a common’, that we propose to write without final ‘s’ in order to emphasise the importance of collective action and social construction in this notion. This contrasts with ‘the commons’, as used by Hardin, which is a word coming from ancient English and designating the common land of a community, that is, a physical, material piece of land. In this paper, ‘commons’ shall refer to a good more or less commonly appropriated, while ‘common’ shall refer to the social construction that manages and reflects it.« ]
    • Surugu, J. I. M., & Chutab, D. N. (2021). Going Beyond Incrementalism: Climate Projects’ Beneficiaries’ Perspective on What Could Be Described as Transformational AdaptationInternational Journal of Rural Management17(1), 55–74. 
      • [Abstract : « The concept of transformational adaptation is increasingly becoming a buzzword in the field of political ecology or the emerging sub-field of climate change governance. However, what kind of adaptation to climate impact can best be described as transformational? This question is not fully answered, since the concept is still at an embryonic stage of life. In this article, the concept is diagnosed bottom-up—exclusively from the perspective of adaptation project beneficiaries. The question is asked: what kind of adaptation project intervention and outcome do you consider transformational? How is transformational adaptation different from incremental adaptation? Through an interpretive research paradigm, some selected adaptation projects from Ghana were used as a case study. According to the interviewees, climate change adaptation interventions that create a systematic shift in livelihood to a more sustainable option, create equitable power structures that influence adaptive decision-making, minimise vulnerability and create opportunity for scaling up could be described as transformational. Specifically, it was found that project beneficiaries consider transformational adaptation strategies that encourage and support a total shift in livelihood (e.g., from rice farming to snail rearing) as transformational. On the basis of the data, the study concludes, though with some cautious optimism, that transformational adaptation could spur innovations and diffusion of ideas and create a path for poverty reduction. »]
    • Naiga, R. (2021). Determinants of User Satisfaction and the Implications on Collective Action in Demand-driven Water Governance in Rural UgandaInternational Journal of Rural Management17(1), 93–119.
      • [Abstract : « The devolution of water management from the state to user communities is usually based on the assumption that users are able and willing to take on the necessary responsibilities. Despite over a decade of implementing a demand-driven approach in rural water provision in Uganda, operation and maintenance of communal water infrastructure is still an uphill task. Using a mixed methods approach and a socio-ecological systems framework, this article shows the relationship between water user satisfaction and willingness to engage in collective action towards water provision. The article further presents factors influencing water users’ satisfaction under the demand-driven model of water governance. The results indicate a highly significant relationship between user satisfaction and willingness to contribute to operation and maintenance of water infrastructure. The explanatory variables influencing users’ satisfaction with water provision are categorised as institutional and biophysical factors. The analysis indicates that collective action is key for successful implementation of demand-driven model of water governance, but it cannot be assumed or taken for granted. Rather, it must be facilitated through fulfilling the needs and expectations of the beneficiaries as well as building robust self-governance local institutions.« ]
    • Datta, S., & Sahu, T. N. (2021). Impact of Microcredit on Employment Generation and Empowerment of Rural Women in IndiaInternational Journal of Rural Management17(1), 140–157.
      • [Abstract : « This study examines the responsibility of microfinance institutions towards changes in the livelihood practices of the borrowers. Considering a total of 350 borrowers of West Bengal, the impact of microfinance on their lives has been observed empirically by applying different statistical tools. In this study, it has been observed that MFIs with its offerings support to shape up the lifestyle practices of the beneficiaries over time. The microcredit utilisation helps the borrowers to start up income-generating activities and engagement of manpower within their household and beyond. This study contributes to the extant literature on microfinance by comparing pre-loan and post-loan phases and identifies the contemporary role of MFIs. By considering the appropriate framework and approach, this study is explicable towards policymakers for designing further policies in this context and helps identify resources that need to flourish the current state in the future. »]
  • Transmission Failures, by Stephen J. White
    • [Abstract : « According to a natural view of instrumental normativity, if you ought to do φ, and doing ψ is a necessary means for you to do φ, then you ought to do ψ. In “Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle,” Benjamin Kiesewetter defends this principle against certain actualist-inspired counterexamples. In this article I argue that Kiesewetter’s defense of the transmission principle fails. His arguments rely on certain principles—Joint Satisfiability and Reason Transmission—which we should not accept in the unqualified forms needed to establish his conclusion. » Conclusion : « I have argued that Kiesewetter’s objections to actualism are not decisive, since they depend on the principles of joint satisfiability and reason transmission and we have little reason to accept either of these in the unqualified forms his arguments require. I have also argued that Kiesewetter’s attempt to accommodate our intuitions about examples like Broome’s by appeal to wide-scope obligations fails to do justice to our sense of what is relevant in these cases. This is not, however, to defend actualism itself, in its full generality—the view that, as Kiesewetter puts it, “A ought to φ if, and only if, φ-ing is an option such that what would happen if A φ-s is (expectably) better than what would happen if A does not φ.”There are serious problems with actualism, understood in that way, as a general deontic thesis. But my purpose was not to argue for actualism. It was to make good on the claim that cases like Broome’s provide genuine counterexamples to the transmission principle. Under certain conditions—for instance, where an agent is suffering akrasia or related forms of irrationality—the transmission of (all-things-considered) obligation from ends to means is blocked. Whether, in light of this, we should accept actualism is a further question. »]
    • Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle, by Benjamin Kiesewetter
      • [Abstract : « If you ought to perform a certain act, and some other action is a necessary means for you to perform that act, then you ought to perform that other action as well—or so it seems plausible to say. This transmission principle is of both practical and theoretical significance. The aim of this essay is to defend this principle against a number of recent objections, which (as I show) are all based on core assumptions of the view called actualism. I reject actualism, provide an alternative explanation of its plausible features, and present an independent argument for the transmission principle. »]
  • Chouchan, N. (2020). Éditorial. Cahiers philosophiques, 3(3), 5-8.
    • [extrait : « L’omniprésence spatiale et temporelle des décorations ornementales se trouve ainsi soulignée, mais que parvient-on à appréhender, a fortiori à déterminer, en rassemblant de cette manière des formes, des matériaux et des usages qui diffèrent autant les uns des autres ? Peut-on concevoir l’unité réelle de cette variété extrême et à quelles conditions ? Ne faut-il pas a minima distinguer, et même hiérarchiser, au sein de cette énumération ce qui relève d’« arts mineurs » et ce qui relève d’arts plus nobles ? »]
  • Dana, G. (2021). Dans quelle langue traduit-on ?. Che Vuoi, 1(1), 13-16.
    • [extrait : « En effet, malgré les efforts que font les traducteurs pour rendre fidèle leur traduction, il y a quelque chose d’irréductible dans l’acte de traduire, et vouloir rendre les choses strictement semblables entre l’auteur et le traducteur est sans doute impossible. Prenons garde toutefois devant ce qui se présente comme une gageure, d’emprunter des chemins plus faciles qui seraient de simplifier, d’aller droit au but, bref de communiquer. Cette dérive est sévèrement dénoncée par Walter Benjamin dont le texte-phare sur la traduction, La Tâche du traducteur, aura accompagné soit en filigrane, soit de façon explicite les différentes interventions qui se sont succédé. Non, traduire n’est pas communiquer. Toutefois il nous faut étayer le ou les liens de ce colloque avec la psychanalyse. Quel est le lien entre la traduction et l’acte psychanalytique ? »]
  • « La psychanalyse et le langage de la guerre », Essaim, 2021/1 (n° 46), p. 7-8. 
    • [extrait : « Lacan prit position pendant la guerre de 39-45 en ne publiant rien pendant cette période et c’est au sortir de celle-ci qu’il publia ses travaux sur la logique collective (différente de celle de la foule), dont Le temps logique qui l’accompagnera tout au long de son enseignement. En fondant son école en 1964, il la définit comme « base d’opérations » contre le malaise dans la civilisation. Puis, dans sa « Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur le psychanalyste de l’École », laquelle concerne la formation même du psychanalyste avec la passe, il désigne comme le réel de l’articulation de l’intension et de l’extension de la psychanalyse les camps de concentration. La question du nouage du réel avec l’imaginaire et le symbolique est toujours en chantier. Le vocabulaire de la guerre participe aussi du sens de notions fondamentales de la psychanalyse. Que l’on songe par exemple aux termes de résistance, de défense, de passeur… ou à la « manœuvre du transfert » et au lien de la stratégie et de la tactique avec la politique de l’analyste dans l’usage de l’interprétation. La question même de l’acte analytique n’est-elle pas empreinte d’un arrière-fond guerrier, avec l’exemple de César franchissant le Rubicon ou encore avec le renvoi de Lacan au livre de Jean Paulhan, Le guerrier appliqué, relativement au désêtre de l’analyste ? »]
    • « La psychanalyse a partie liée avec la guerre à plusieurs niveaux » – Brousse, M. (2021). La guerre et l’erranceEssaim, 1(1), 45-53.
  • Hamel, T. (2021). Pandémie Covid-19 : leçons pour le Bioterrorisme (2). Sécurité globale, 1(1), 7-30.
    • Dory, D. (2021). L’Histoire du terrorisme : un état des connaissances et des débatsSécurité globale, 1(1), 109-123.
      • [extrait : « La récente parution du livre de l’historien militaire nord-américain John Lynn offre une remarquable opportunité de faire une rapide évaluation des acquis et des débats en cours en histoire du terrorisme. Et il est aisé de comprendre qu’une telle démarche mobilise des enjeux qui dépassent amplement ceux d’une seule branche (ou discipline) spécialisée des études sur le terrorisme. Car c’est seulement au prix d’une étude sérieuse du fait terroriste dans toute sa profondeur temporelle (et évidemment aussi spatiale) qu’il est possible d’en produire une connaissance adéquate. L’indigence des commentaires de trop nombreux « spécialistes », pour lesquels le terrorisme ne débute qu’avec les formes contemporaines de l’islamisme jihadiste (voire avec les actes de Mohamed Merah) suffit pour en administrer la preuve. C’est pourquoi, à la différence des Veilles bibliographiques antérieures, on se concentrera ici sur le seul ouvrage de Lynn, en le situant d’abord dans l’historiographie spécialisée. Ensuite, on se focalisera sur son apport concernant les deux débats qui ont parcouru la discipline depuis ses débuts implicites au milieu des années 1960 ; à savoir la question des origines du terrorisme (moderne ?), et celle des périodisations les plus pertinentes pour en comprendre les transformations successives. »]
    • Léoutre, P. (2021). L’appropriation du cyberespace par le PolitiqueSécurité globale, 1(1), 135-138.
      • [extrait : « En 1492, Christophe Colomb découvrait un nouveau monde après avoir convaincu leurs majestés très chrétiennes que son projet était suffisamment rationnel pour être financé. Ce nouveau monde, à tort ou à raison, fut considéré comme ontologiquement différent du précédent et l’irruption de l’Occident en son sein nécessitait l’invention de nouvelles règles afin d’y résoudre des problématiques depuis longtemps bornées en Europe. La difficulté essentielle tenait à la découverte de nouvelles terres immenses, sans maître, du moins sans maître adhérent de fait ou de droit au « droit des gens » européen. Ce droit, qui ne sera réellement formalisé qu’avec le traité de Westphalie, reconnaissait l’existence d’entités politiques de puissances différentes mais de qualité commune. Ainsi, l’acte politique agressif par excellence, la guerre, était-il limité dans le domaine du politique par la nécessité de traiter le vaincu comme l’un de ses pairs avec ses droits propres que la défaite ne lui enlevait pas. Ce droit international avant l’heure s’appuyait sur une conception tellurique du monde et les moyens de l’appliquer seront liés à cette approche exclusive. La découverte des Amériques amenant l’Europe à s’ouvrir au monde via des voies maritimes océaniques, il apparut rapidement que l’ancien droit européen ne pouvait plus s’appliquer par simple transposition sur ce double champ maritime et terrestre qui constituait le nouvel horizon européen. Par la force des choses, un droit international de la mer fut élaboré. Ce droit maritime s’opposait en de nombreux points sur le droit terrestre et entra en concurrence avec lui, chaque milieu tentant de projeter sa puissance sur l’autre. »]
  • Globalisation de la culture – Réseaux 2021/2-3 (N° 226-227)
    • Cicchelli, V. & Octobre, S. (2021). La globalisation de la culture à l’aune de la circulation des produits culturels. Réseaux, 2(2-3), 9-15.
      • [extrait : « L’article de Victor Roudometof offre ensuite au lecteur une revue critique de la littérature concernant le concept clef de glocalisation – une notion placée au cœur des débats contradictoires et parfois houleux sur la nature même du processus dual d’homogénéisation et d’hétérogénéisation portée par la production et circulation des produits culturels. Il montre tour à tour les forces et les faiblesses de six principaux cadres théoriques disponibles en langue anglaise et met en exergue l’importance capitale de comprendre la nature de l’interaction entre le global et le local afin de saisir les dynamiques multi-scalaires de la globalisation de la culture. »]
    • Cicchelli, V. & Octobre, S. (2021). La culture à l’âge global: Une analyse par la circulation des produits culturels. Réseaux, 2(2-3), 19-43.
      • [extrait : « Cet article ambitionne de fournir au lecteur un modèle théorique d’appréhension des dimensions culturelles de la globalisation saisies à l’aune de la circulation des produits des industries culturelles globales. Pour ce faire, nous procéderons tout d’abord à une mise en perspective des principaux outils analytiques, avancés dès le début des années 1990. En pointant le tournant global de la culture, des chercheurs mettaient en évidence trois tensions majeures dans les transformations profondes des identités culturelles : entre homogénéisation et hétérogénéisation, entre impérialisme culturel américano-occidental et résistances ethno-nationales, entre promotion locale et hybridation. Puisant dans ce corpus, nous proposons un modèle à quatre vecteurs pour analyser la globalisation des produits culturels : le capitalisme esthétique, la compétition pour l’hégémonie culturelle, le rôle des intermédiaires et le travail de réception des amateurs. Dans cette exploration, nous gardons comme boussole la leçon sociologique d’Arjun Appadurai (2005) pour qui « l’économie culturelle globale » ne peut être saisie que par des « disjonctions fondamentales entre économie, culture et politique » (p. 70). C’est bien la dynamique d’ensemble des systèmes culturels globaux – qui s’appuie sur la relation complexe entre flux de personnes (ethnoscape), de technologies (technoscape), de finances (financescape), d’informations (médiascape) et d’idéologies (idéoscape) – qui permet de « voir le matériel culturel traverser les frontières nationales » (p. 88). » – « La globalisation culturelle est très liée au nouvel esprit du capitalisme fondé depuis les années 1960 sur un consumérisme croissant, sur une forte urbanisation, une scolarisation de masse, une démocratisation des loisirs et le développement des nouvelles technologies de la communication (Harvey, 1990). Rompant avec l’analyse wébérienne d’un esprit fondé sur un éthos ascétique (Weber, 2010), des auteurs ont qualifié ce capitalisme global d’« esthétique » (Böhme, 2017) ou d’« artiste » (Lipovetski et Serroy, 2013). Ce capitalisme s’est mis progressivement en place, en transformant « l’art dans l’esthétique – et la stimulation esthétique de l’économie » (Murphy, 2014, p. 51). « C’est l’alliance de l’esthétique et de l’économie, du design et de l’industrie, de la beauté et de la société qui distingue le capitalisme des deux derniers siècles. Elle a été réalisée par l’immersion progressive de l’art dans la vie quotidienne » (ibid., p. 52-53). Les auteurs qui se sont penchés sur ce nouvel esprit du capitalisme mettent en avant tout d’abord l’esthétisation des sphères de la vie quotidienne, processus qui est aussi bien l’aboutissement que le moteur du capitalisme contemporain (Featherstone, 2007). Ils insistent également sur le degré élevé de marchandisation des goûts et de la création artistique et culturelle, domaines qui en étaient il y a encore peu exclus et étaient censés en être antinomiques. Ils attirent en outre l’attention sur la stimulation intense, diffuse et personnalisée des désirs d’achat des classes moyennes urbaines globales. Ce capitalisme esthétique se montre ainsi à même de générer et d’entretenir une forte dépendance chez les consommateurs (Pharo, 2018), y compris en faisant de l’intime (c’est-à-dire des goûts et dégoûts et des émotions afférentes) une marchandise d’un nouveau genre, cognitive et émotionnelle (Illouz, 2019). Cette évolution a donné aux industries culturelles transnationales et aux consommateurs en quête de nouvelles stimulations un poids fondamental dans le fonctionnement de l’économie globale. C’est bien en effet la forte consommation des produits culturels circulant à une échelle internationale et en provenance des quatre coins du monde qui érige le désir de consommation de l’autre – sorte de néo-exotisme – en moteur de la croissance, désir savamment entretenu à travers le marketing de la différence (Emontspool et Woodward, 2018). Avec la circulation accrue des contenus et biens culturels, la créativité et la diversité culturelles sont soumises, à une échelle décuplée, au processus schumpétérien de « destruction créatrice » (Schumpeter, 1990) afin d’augmenter la palette de choix du consommateur – comme l’indique le discours actuel des entreprises américaines de la Silicon Valley dans le domaine de la technologie et de l’information. Ce capitalisme se caractérise ainsi par le triple passage de la sphère locale à la sphère globale de distribution, de la nature matérielle à celle immatérielle de la marchandise, de l’emprise du marché sur les comportements de l’individu à l’emprise sur l’intimité de ce dernier. En reprenant à leur compte ces éléments et en les systématisant, Gilles Lipovetsky et Jean Serroy (2013) caractérisent la dimension esthétique du mode de production, distribution et consommation contemporain en insistant sur : l’intégration et la généralisation de l’ordre du style dans les biens de consommation ; la généralisation de la dimension entrepreneuriale des industries culturelles ; l’augmentation de la puissance des acteurs engagés dans les productions dotées d’une composante esthétique ; et la déstabilisation des anciennes hiérarchies artistiques. La puissance de ce changement se mesure au fait que cette dynamique soit portée à l’agenda international : dans une compétition de plus en plus globale, l’économie est devenue « créative », slogan porté par l’Unesco (2007) comme par l’Union européenne (2010). Si la créativité devient fondamentale pour un capitalisme qui se veut novateur – notamment dans le domaine de la haute technologie –, c’est bien la création artistique qui devient le modèle inspirateur. » – « Pourtant, les dernières décennies ont vu des mutations d’envergure des équilibres géopolitiques, avec l’émergence de nouveaux compétiteurs, notamment asiatiques (Kim, 2009). Ainsi, c’est la Chine qui est, depuis 2013, le premier exportateur de biens et services culturels (pour un montant de plus de 60 milliards de dollars, soit plus du double des exportations états-uniennes) (Unesco, 2014). Par ailleurs, si les États-Unis restent le premier importateur de biens culturels (de manière générale, les pays développés sont moins exportateurs qu’importateurs), la Turquie et l’Inde, en plus de la Chine, font désormais partie des 10 premiers exportateurs mondiaux. Dans cette veine, on peut considérer la vague de produits sud-coréens qui déferle depuis une vingtaine d’années grâce au web (connue sous le nom de Hallyu) comme un litmus test pour saisir les caractères d’une globalisation alternative de la pop culture (Cicchelli et Octobre, à paraître). Si les produits qui forment ce « cultural package » – on y inclut la K-pop, les blockbusters, les séries télé, les manhwa (nom des mangas sud-coréens), les webtoons (des BD publiées en ligne) et même la nourriture, les produits esthétiques et la mode – proviennent d’un pays autrefois considéré comme au mieux exotique, sinon périphérique, voire arriéré, leur succès conteste néanmoins la suprématie des États-Unis sur leur propre sol, certains groupes de K-pop se taillant la part du lion dans les charts américains. Le contexte contemporain est ainsi caractérisé par une concurrence accrue entre les produits culturels fabriqués en Occident et ceux fabriqués en Orient, concurrence qu’on ne peut pas ne pas mettre en parallèle avec les poids démographiques des deux régions du monde qui fournissent autant de marchés aux produits de ces deux aires géoculturelles. Presque vingt ans après le diagnostic de Koichi Iwabuchi (2002) sur le rôle joué par les flux culturels en provenance du Japon sur une « globalisation recentrée », on assiste dans la pop culture globale à ce que l’on pourrait appeler une « multiplicité décentralisée » (Kim, 2007). Au vu de ces mutations, comment ne pas saluer les analyses visionnaires d’Arjun Appadurai qui constatait dès 1996 que les États-Unis « ne tirent plus les ficelles d’un système mondial d’images, mais sont devenus un simple nodule d’une construction transnationale complexe de paysages imaginaires » (2005) ? »]
  • Roudometof, V. (2021). Qu’est-ce que la glocalisation ?Réseaux, 2(2-3), 45-70.
    • [extrait : « Selon Robertson (1992), le global n’existe pas en dehors du local ou du glocal, mais au sein d’eux : la globalisation entraîne la particularisation de l’universel et l’universalisation du particulier. Le global et le local s’interpénètrent et la globalisation se donne à voir à travers des formes locales concrètes. Celle-ci n’existe pas dans un ailleurs non situé, « là-bas ». Le local, quant à lui, n’est jamais « pur » et totalement en dehors du global ; il est toujours élaboré, au moins partiellement, comme réponse au global et sous son influence. C’est ainsi que pour Robertson, la globalisation conduit systématiquement à la glocalisation, ainsi qu’au développement d’une culture-monde ou d’une culture globale. Dans cette perspective, il ne peut y avoir aucune contradiction entre la création d’une culture-monde et l’existence de ses formes glocales, car, comme Robertson l’explique (2014a, p. 8), « la globalité et la localité sont relatives ». Giulianotti et Robertson (2004 ; 2006 ; 2007) ont utilisé le sport et la migration internationale comme exemples de leur approche, pour élaborer une typologie de stratégies de glocalisation (au rang desquelles ils distinguent la relativisation, l’accommodation, l’hybridation, et la transformation). Cette approche suppose de concevoir que « la glocalisation, c’est la globalisation » (Khondker, 2019, p. 93), et refuse au glocal une quelconque autonomie analytique (Roudometof, 2016a). »]
  • Wolton, D. (2020). « L’érudition ne sert à rien… ». Hermès, La Revue, 2(2), 11-14.
    • [extrait : « Et pourtant, dès que l’on prononce ce mot, un carnaval de synonymes, d’imaginaires, de représentations se met en place, éliminant toute idée d’une activité dépassée. Avec l’érudition, on touche à ce qui semble le plus atemporel : la culture, la connaissance, l’universalité et la gratuité. Si l’on ressent confusément que l’érudition d’aujourd’hui n’a peut-être pas grand-chose à voir avec celle d’hier, ce n’est pas pour en sous-estimer l’importance. Ce terme mystérieux n’est jamais loin, entre réalité inatteignable, idéal et sagesse. Entre curiosité, gratuité et culture. » – « L’érudit demain ? Un professionnel assagi, un anarchiste qui ne dit pas forcément son nom. Le dernier des libertaires ? Doux, secret, désagréable, frustré, minoritaire ou finalement heureux ? Peut-il rester mystérieux ? Où peut-on d’ailleurs trouver des érudits à la fois identifiés, connus et respectés ? Un artisan, à côté du chemin ? Sauvage ? Critique ? Guerrier ? Pas forcément rebelle ? » – « Comment le classer ? Condamné à rester inclassable ? Mystérieux ou altruiste ? Menacé par les dérives de « l’inclassabilité » ? On a l’impression, avec tous les éclairages de cette livraison d’Hermès, que l’érudit continue à rester insaisissable. Paradoxe de ce siècle qui ne jure que par information, classements et banques de données ! » – « Le reste après le tout ? L’inutilité après toutes les utilités ? L’horizon de l’érudition : penser ou cliquer ? Finalement, il illustre les trois significations de la communication : le partage, l’incommunication, l’acommunication. Alors oui au comparatisme pour éclairer les ressemblances et différences. Notamment en Europe où malgré toutes les altérités, l’érudition constitue un patrimoine d’une indéniable valeur. L’érudition reste encore indispensable dans les sociétés où « tout a un sens ». C’est peut-être cette utilité toujours discutable qui en fait son charme, en illustrant ce qui échappe à la culture légitime. Est-elle moins indispensable qu’hier ? En tout cas, elle est proche de l’inutilité utile, de la gratuité irremplaçable. Un superbe objet et outil de connaissance. Sans doute aussi irremplaçable que la communication. En tout cas, une somme de mystères dont il est difficile de se passer. L’imaginaire, là où tout le monde aspire à plus de rationalité… »]
    • Valade, B. (2020). L’érudition : usages et enjeux. Hermès, La Revue, 2(2), 21-35.
      • [extrait : « D’un côté, l’érudition comme mise en œuvre d’une démarche et édification d’un savoir est saluée pour ses apports au progrès des connaissances. De l’autre, la dénonciation est fréquente de l’inutile « fatras d’apparats critiques » dont des publications sont encombrées. Perçue comme fardeau ou stérile, elle inspire alors des considérations des plus banales qui achèvent d’en donner une image caricaturale. Une dimension polémique lui est, en fait, inhérente ; elle prime ces objections de forme ainsi que l’opposition anecdotique entre vraie et fausse ou vaine érudition. C’est qu’au départ il s’agit d’une « méthode d’étudier », celle que La Bruyère recommande dans ses observations sur « Quelques usages » : « C’est le chemin le plus sûr et le plus agréable pour tout genre d’érudition. Ayez la chose de la première main, puisez à la source. » Les vicissitudes de cette « méthode » au cours des Temps modernes et contemporains montrent qu’après avoir rayonné à l’âge classique, elle a été mise en question au siècle des Lumières, puis mise au service des études historiques et littéraires. Aujourd’hui, les usages et les enjeux qui lui sont attachés font l’objet de nouvelles lectures qui seront, en conclusion, brièvement évoquées. »]
  • Albanel, V. (2021). Migrants : cri de détresse et appel au dialogueÉtudes, 5(5), 5-6.
  • Neveu, F. & Roig, A. (2020). Regards sur les adjectivaux. Travaux de linguistique, 1(1), 7-12.
    • Yamamoto, D. (2020). L’ adjectivité des épithètes antéposées sale et foutuTravaux de linguistique, 1(1), 49-61.
  • Taïbi, N. (2021). Crépuscule des glandsSens-Dessous, 1(1), 1
  • Pinon, S. (2021). Laïcité, que d’erreurs on commet en ton nom !. Pouvoirs, 2(2), 143-151.
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