Undemocratic Emotions – The Example of Israel
Is it better for a ruler to be loved or feared? Since the two are difficult to combine, Machiavelli prioritizes fear in Il Principe, his famous treatise on the principles of the reason of state. In her new book published with Suhrkamp, Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz and WZB Visiting Research Professor echoes Machiavelli in two ways: she underscores the importance of emotions in politics and she elaborates on how right-wing populists instrumentalize certain emotions.
Since its founding, the state of Israel has been shaped by security issues more than almost any other country. In this situation, Illouz says, longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to be loved precisely because of the fear he sows. Through extensive interviews with human rights activists and others, Illouz shows in her new Suhrkamp book how fear and resentment divide societies and undermine democracy.
Welcome note by Jutta Allmendinger, President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center
- Jelena Cupać, Postdoctoral researcher at the WZB Research Unit Global Governance
- Christian von Scheve, Head of the Research Group “Sociology of Emotion” at Freie Universität Berlin
- Daniel Ziblatt, Director of the WZB Research Unit Transformations of Democracy
Moderated by Michael Zürn, Director of the WZB Research Unit Global Governance
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