Why do all our feelings about politics matter?

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This article is concerned with disenchantment with democracy and the role of emotions in politics. Its contribution is to develop our understanding of emotions in situations of political disenchantment. It is argued that (1) there are a wide variety of emotions involved in political disaffection which need explication, (2) it is important to consider the dynamic of political motivation and demotivation, and (3) we should be concerned about political disenchantment, not only because citizens are becoming negative and disengaging, but because the concerns of some raise important issues with justice and equality in democracies. Greater attention to the cultivation of emotions, such as hope, in public life might help us to understand, (re)kindle and sustain people’s affection for, and engagement in, politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-205
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • democratic disenchantment
  • emotions
  • anti-politics
  • hope


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