Ties that Bind? Engaging Emotions, Governmentality and Neoliberalism: Introduction to the Special Issue

Ties that Bind? Engaging Emotions, Governmentality and Neoliberalism: Introduction to the Special Issue

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This introduction to the special issue on “Emotions, Governmentality and Neoliberalism” situates the theme inside the recent International Relations literature devoted to emotions and affect. This literature misses an engagement with governmentality, notably because Michel Foucault's prime concern with practical rationalities, such as “the conduct of conduct” in the case of governmentality, led to an assumption that these were devoid of emotional dimensions. Paying attention to governmentality allows us to examine how emotions and rationality actually intermingle, notably by putting the body at the centre of analysis in ways that do not make it the locus of a pre-social “affect.” All six contributions to the special issue are then individually discussed around the three key dimensions they all seek to address and emphasise: (1) the ways in which emotions partake in relations of power, sometimes to the point where individuals can become emotionally attached to regimes of power that hurt them; (2) the ways in which neoliberal processes are concomitant with the enclosure and valorisation of certain subjective/emotional dispositions; and, finally (3) the ways in which emotions can challenge or exceed existing relations of power.

 

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  • Anne-Marie D'Aoust, « Ties that Bind? Engaging Emotions, Governmentality, and Neoliberalism: Introduction to the Special Issue », Global Society, vol. 28, no 3, 2014, p. 267-276.