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Abstract

In the background of a contemporary emotionology, ‘political emotions’ have been employed as a means to designate the crucial role affectivity plays in politics. Notwithstanding the novelty of its use in political psychology and sociological literature, the concept stands largely unclear and under-theorised. The aim of this chapter is twofold: First, it offers a theoretically driven definition of political emotion with minimal vagueness and ambiguity abiding to normative criteria. Second, this chapter provides examples of political emotions with important repercussions in political life. In determining reactions to unjust and therefore affectively charged political events, resentment and ressentiment are analytically discussed and differentiated as against the reluctance of many political psychologists to do so. Furthermore, as political psychologists and sociologists usually conflate cynicism and distrust or even mistrust, this chapter provides some theoretical and methodological tools for keeping the two concepts apart, suggesting that this respecification leads to more conclusive analysis of electoral politics.

Keywords

Social Movement Political Culture American Political Science Review Emotional Climate Electoral Politics 
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© Nicolas Demertzis 2014

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  • Nicolas Demertzis

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