Introduction: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities for the Study of Emotions

  • Maéva Clément
  • Eric Sangar
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)


The study of emotions in international relations, understood in a broad sense, has become a vibrant field over the past 15 years. A brief overview of the growing number of publications shows a variety of (conflicting) ontological, epistemological and theoretical positions on the nature and role of emotions in world politics. Methodological issues have not yet gained as much attention, despite calls to address the challenges and opportunities associated with emotion research in IR. After sketching the general methodological trends in current scholarship, we present six key methodological issues that need to be considered for the empirical study of emotions. The volume’s rationale focuses on plurality—by presenting diverse methodological approaches—and practicality—by providing research-practical insights from the authors’ own experience. The volume can be read in various ways depending on the reader’s interests in a specific ontological position or in a concrete methodology. Two overview tables provide further orientation and present the limits and advantages of each approach according to its author(s).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maéva Clément
    • 1
  • Eric Sangar
    • 2
  1. 1.Helmut Schmidt UniversityHamburgGermany
  2. 2.FNRS / University of NamurNamurBelgium

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