Review of International Studies

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You dissin me? Humiliation and post 9/11 global politics


PAUL  SAURETTE  1

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Abstract

Despite a growing awareness about the importance of emotions to global politics, the discipline of International Relations is still working towards adequate theorisations and investigations of their role. This is particularly noticeable in the fact that there has been little sustained, scholarly examination of the effects of various emotions on the shape and orientation of the US foreign policy reaction to 9/11. This essay seeks to begin to address both of these gaps by examining the role that dynamics of humiliation and counter-humiliation have played in contemporary global politics. In particular, it develops a theoretical understanding of humiliation and then applies this framework to explain how dynamics of humiliation have impacted post 9/11 American global policy. It concludes that we cannot fully understand the sources, and the effects, of post 9/11 contemporary politics (especially US global policy) without taking into account the dynamics of humiliation.

(Published Online August 7 2006)



Footnotes

1 For their support, encouragement, and critical debate, thanks to Kathryn Trevenen; Marc Saurette; Peter Wilson, Mark Hoffman and the participants of the LSE IR Theory workshop; Henrik Thune, Ole Jacob Sending and the participants of the Theory Seminar at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs; and Nick Rengger, Mary Kettle and the anonymous reviewers from RIS.