Emotions, Ideologies and Violent Political Mobilization

Emotions such as anger, resentment and fear do play a big role in explaining why people take up arms (well, and do many other things in “ordinary” life). Ideologies too are often invoked as a motive for action: Banners of different colors are often inextricably linked to rebellions, and are certainly a powerful driver of all sorts of political mobilization. Yet, their study in the context of civil wars has been limited to a few, although very important, studies such as Roger Petersen’s work the link between emotions and conflict in Eastern Europe (and the Balkans). The recent Symposium on PS: Political Science & Politics, organized by Stefano Costalli (University of Florence) and Andrea Ruggeri (University of Oxford), constitutes an important addition to the field. Featuring an Introduction by the Editors and 6 articles dealing with different aspects of how emotions, ideology and collective armed mobilization interact. Venus in Arms suggests you to read them all, as the pieces are filled with insights on how to connect these phenomena and enriched by quite a few empirical examples that show such connections at work. If you dig into the articles, you might even find a piece titled “Organizing Emotions and Ideology in Collective Armed Mobilization“. If you really don’t have time to go through the issue, well you can skip that one. You know the author and nothing good should be expected.

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