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A theory of outlaw emotions: post-heroic creativities and disciplinary change in international relations

Soreanu, R.; (2011) A theory of outlaw emotions: post-heroic creativities and disciplinary change in international relations. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The dissertation formulates a theory of outlaw emotions and makes a case for placing the category of emotion at the heart of our pursuits in understanding social process. The theory is articulated in the space between interaction ritual theories (taking insights from and offering a critique to the sociology of Randall Collins) and psychoanalytic theories (drawing on the elaborations on the "radical imagination" authored by Cornelius Castoriadis). Actors are relational, or multi-relational, rather than phallo-centric; they become entangled with one another and they sustain their synchronic entanglements with meaningful objects, on the basis of their mutual resonance of inner conflicts, and, as a result, they create more meaning. At the level of social institutions, there is an accumulation of the emotional energies flared up in local synchronic entanglements. Social structures are made up through a complex aggregation of emotional energies. To anchor these theoretical notions, I analyse a case of intellectual change in the academic discipline of International Relations, known as "the constructivist turn". Drawing on biographic interviews with International Relations scholars, I unpack this "turn", and I show how emotions such as rage, anger, embarrassment, and humiliation have been at the root of different forms of creativity, and have allowed new theoretical developments in the field. The dissertation thus makes a contribution to the sociology of knowledge, by articulating a socioanalytic way of understanding the creation of novelty in intellectual fields, and by telling a story of change in a discipline in terms of an accumulation of emotions. The dissertation also makes a series of epistemological and methodological contributions, starting from a socioanalytic reading of biographic interviews and ending with a critical approach to citation analysis, which is here used to trace the emotional organisation of an intellectual field.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:A theory of outlaw emotions: post-heroic creativities and disciplinary change in international relations
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Political Science

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