International Relations

Love and Fear in the Neighbourhood: Emotions and Ontological Security in Foreign Policy Analysis

Vincent Della Sala University of Trento
Viktoria Akchurina
The aim of our paper is two-fold. First, it wants to contribute to the growing literature on the role of emotions in international relations by exploring how emotions are fundamental to ontological security. We explore the extent to which love and fear are part of the practices and routines that give the EU and Russia ontological security and shape how they relate to each other. Emotions, we will argue, are not just what we feel but also what we do to make sense of the world and to transmit to others how we understand it. Second, we argue that the narratives at the heart of the conceptual and normative maps that guide their actions and behaviour create a sort of (ontological) security dilemma; that is, behaviour aimed primarily at enhancing confidence in the identity and continuity of a political community raises alarms for the ontological security of other actors.