Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Narratives, Emotions, and the Contestations of the Liberal Order

APIR seminar with Jelena Cupać (WZB)

We cordially invite you to the next session of our workshop series on Authoritarian Politics and International Relations at WZB! Jelena Cupać will talk about Narratives, Emotions, and the Contestations of the Liberal Order.

Contesters of the liberal order are on the rise. Populists in established democracies, authoritarian leaders, conservative NGOs, right-wing transnational movements, and religious fundamentalist groups all rail against what they see as the elitist, cosmopolitan, progressive, and exploitative foundations of the global liberal script. Given this reality, International Relations (IR) scholars have mostly singled out the features, failures, and deficiencies of the liberal order as their explanatory variables.

Jelena Cupać proposes that the contesters of the liberal order are not on the rise because of the direct influence of some innate features, failures, and deficiencies of the liberal order, but because they have found a way of advancing a credible narrative that portrays this order as the main source of people’s grievances.

Emotions might be a key piece in this puzzle. Emotions make narratives meaningful. A narrative cannot just be heard; it has to be felt in order to resonate with its audience, and only when this resonance is achieved can a narrative become socially consequential (Solomon, 2017). However, a narrative’s success does not only depend on the narrative’s emotional underpinnings, it also hinges on the credibility of a narrator.

The seminar series aims at bringing together scholars from Comparative Politics and International Relations. We invite papers combining comparative authoritarianism and IR, as well as contributions that help clarify important theoretical concepts and empirical patterns in either discipline. Colleagues interested in presenting in the workshop series should email Alex Tokhi (alexandros.tokhi [at] wzb.eu) or Alex Schmotz (alexander.schmotz [at] wzb.eu).

When: Once a month on a Tuesday afternoon (see dates below)

Where: WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin, Room A305

What: A classic format: 90 minute research seminar with one paper presentation (15 min), one discussant (10), and plenty of time for Q&A

Who: All scholars from WZB and the Berlin area and anyone interested in authoritarian politics and/or international relations

The next sessions you can find here.

Organized by Alexandros Tokhi (Department Global Governance) and Alexander Schmotz (Department of Democracy & Democratisation)