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Avoiding an emotions-action gap? The EU and genocide designations

Smith, Karen E. ORCID: 0000-0002-2651-7193 (2024) Avoiding an emotions-action gap? The EU and genocide designations. Journal of European Integration, 46 (5). pp. 615-634. ISSN 0703-6337

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Identification Number: 10.1080/07036337.2024.2358871


Genocide is one of the most heinous crimes perpetrated against humans. Violation of the norm against genocide should thus spark a robust response. Yet naming genocide is a highly contentious act,and the European Union and most of its member states have been cautious about using the term to describe atrocities. This article explores how the emotional resonance of the term ‘genocide’ inhibits its use by the EU, which in turn has implications for the EU’s response to purported genocidal violence. By not using the term, the EU avoids creating an emotions-action gap, as its actions are better aligned with the emotions it expresses through its rhetoric. But in so doing, the EU may also underestimate the potential for genocide and fail to take action to prevent it. In this way, emotions play a constraining role in the EU’s response to purported violations of the norm against genocide.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 23:13
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2024 10:06

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