Anger, Violence, and Political Science

  • Roger Petersen
  • Sarah Zukerman


Violence is one of the major topics of political science. Yet, due to its general failure to study the role of emotions, the discipline is not fully equipped to address key issues central to violence. For the study of political violence, anger holds special significance. Anger has a clear connection with motivations to commit or support violence. This chapter summarizes findings and methods in the study of anger in psychology and other fields and discusses how insights from these fields can be borrowed or modified to improve the study of violence in political science. The chapter’s last section illustrates the usefulness of these hybrid concepts by applying them to an important concrete case – Colombia’s current drive to demobilize combatants and reconcile its society in the face of a continuing civil war.


Political Scientist Rational Choice Action Tendency Political Violence Transitional Justice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyBostonUSA

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