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Humani Nil A Me Alienum Puto: Analysis of Institutionalised Collective Emotions in International Relations

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Despite the growing body of literature on emotions in International Relations theory, some major issues are still to be tackled satisfactorily. One of them concerns the ability to study and analyse collective emotions. This article offers a methodological reflection on how institutions shape these affects. After having identified five variables that may impact empathic reactions, I aim to highlight the importance of one of these institutions, namely media, through a comparative analysis of articles written in the US during the week after two terrorist attacks, one in Sana'a in March 2015, and the other in Paris in November of the same year. I argue that—given the difference in terms of coverage, of concomitance with other cognitive processes, and of representations of the victims—the articles written about Sana'a are less likely to trigger empathy than those written about Paris.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2018

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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