The tempest within: the origins and outcomes of intense national emotions in times of national division

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Theories of intense national emotions have focused on affection for the home nation and antagonism for national others but overlooked antagonism for fellow nationals. The article introduces a comprehensive theory of intense national emotions. It first discusses the sources of the potential energy stored in national identities, pointing to a combination of two factors: the nation is at once potent due to its capacity to shield against existential threats and precarious due to its dependence on the reproduction of contested narratives. The article then explains that events that—through a construction process elaborated in the text—seem to threaten or promise to alter perceived core elements of the nation (i.e., “nation-disrupting events”) evoke intense emotions. Next, the article explains why some periods of "hot" nationalism increase national division rather than unity. The conclusion proposes a promising direction for future research on intense national emotions as a mechanism of eventfulness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • Eventfulness
  • Narratives
  • National emotions
  • Nationalism
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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