CFP: Special issue on the politics of negative emotions

Submission deadline: April 1, 2019

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The Politics of Negative Emotions
Global Discourse, Volume 11, Issue 1
Edited by Dan Degerman, Lancaster University (d.degerman@lancaster.ac.uk)

Abstract 
Negative emotions seemingly lie at the heart of recent political changes and movements in the West. Anger, fear and sadness have, to varying degrees, been implicated in the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the rise of Trump, on the one hand, and the persistence of Black Lives Matter and the impact of the Me Too movement, on the other. Rightly or wrongly, the negative emotions of disadvantaged groups and their role in political action have long been a subject of suspicion, criticism and regulation. A philosophical tradition that stretches from Plato to Martha Nussbaum has urged us to keep negative emotions like anger and jealousy out of politics, and to instead nurture positive ones, like love and compassion. Yet, that must be confounding to minorities, the poor and other marginalized groups, whose political claims frequently originate in negative emotions and take the form of emotional expressions. Indeed, their marginalization and attendant suffering has been exacerbated by processes, such as medicalization, which prompt individuals to think of their anger, fear and other painful emotions as personal problems to be dealt with in the medical or some other ostensibly apolitical sphere. But not everyone believes negative emotions must be kept out of politics. Some feminists have long defended the political value of anger. And, more recently, such thinkers as Judith Butler and Deborah Gould have highlighted the politically empowering and constructive role that other negative emotions can play as well. But whether these newer perspectives can survive the popular trend of blaming our contemporary political problems on passions like anger and fear remains to be seen.

This issue of Global Discourse seeks to examine the specific challenges posed by political responses to negative emotion through engagement and analysis of real-world cases, such as the rise of the far right in Europe and the US, Brexit, Black Lives Matter and Me Too. 

  Possible questions to be explored include:

  • What is the relationship between negative emotions and political agency?
  • Who is permitted to express negative emotions, and whose emotions get medicalized, irrationalized or depoliticized in some other way?
  • Should negative emotions play a role in political processes, such as elections and referenda, policy-making and protests?
  • Should liberal democratic governments seek to expel negative and instil positive emotions in their citizens?
  • What is the relationship between negative emotions and the politics of well-being?
  • Can there be a politics of negative emotions independent of identity politics?


Submission instructions and deadlines
Abstracts of 400 words: 1st April 2019
Articles (solicited on the basis of review of abstracts): 1st August 2019
Publication: mid-2020

Instructions for authors
Please submit by email all abstracts and articles to the Guest Editor.
Further details:https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/global-discourse/instructions-for-authors
Editor contact details: Dan Degerman (d.degerman@lancaster.ac.uk)

Journal Aims and Scope
Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal’s scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.   All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers. 

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