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Emotions and EU foreign policy

Smith, Karen E. ORCID: 0000-0002-2651-7193 (2021) Emotions and EU foreign policy. International Affairs, 97 (2). 287 – 304. ISSN 0020-5850

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ia/iiaa218


This article assesses the role that emotions play in European Union foreign policy-making. EU decision-making has often been depicted as technocratic and ‘de-dramatized’, yet there are still situations in which emotions can affect the process and outcomes of foreign policy decision-making. Using examples of the EU's responses to crises in Ukraine and Myanmar, the article illustrates that emotions can motivate the taking of particular decisions at particular times. Further, the EU expresses emotions in its foreign policy communications, although its use of emotional diplomacy may not be accompanied by substantive action appropriate to the emotions expressed, thus revealing the existence of an emotions–action gap. The ‘emotional turn’ in foreign policy analysis can open up new directions for research in EU foreign policy, and the conclusion considers other promising avenues for researching emotions and EU foreign policy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 13:18
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 02:39

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