Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/134939
Title: 'THE LOCAL' IN THE HUMANITARIAN PSYCHE: HOW EMOTIONS OF HUMANITARIAN WORKERS MEDIATE THE EVERYDAY PRACTICES OF PARTICIPATION
Authors: HOR JIN YI, AMOZ
Keywords: Participatory Development, Aid Workers, Emotions, Psychoanalysis, Processual/Relational Turn in IR, Constructivism, The Everyday
Issue Date: 3-Aug-2016
Citation: HOR JIN YI, AMOZ (2016-08-03). 'THE LOCAL' IN THE HUMANITARIAN PSYCHE: HOW EMOTIONS OF HUMANITARIAN WORKERS MEDIATE THE EVERYDAY PRACTICES OF PARTICIPATION. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: IR’s ‘practice turn' makes the case for studying IR through the study of international practices – patterns of behavior endowed with social meaning. However, the same pattern of behavior may be endowed with different meanings by different actors, thereby altering the nature of the practice. Emotions can explain how practices become differently meaningful to different actors in world politics. Yet, current research on emotions in IR lack analytical theorizing of what emotions are and how they mediate practices in world politics. I fill this gap through an investigation of humanitarian practices: how do the emotions of humanitarian workers mediate the practices of participatory approaches in the international humanitarianism system? To answer this, I first present a psychoanalytic theory of emotions in equilibrium, where potential traumas are kept at bay through adequate defense mechanisms. Next, based on fieldwork in Singapore, Jakarta and Aceh, 45 semi-structured interviews and 20 published autobiographies, I show how humanitarian workers regularly question their impact and complicity in human suffering. This is experienced as trauma and constitutes emotions in disequilibrium. In empirically tracing the process of restoring equilibrium, we can observe how the deployment of different defense mechanisms affects practices of participatory development through different emotional distances. This illustrates how emotions can explain differences in international practices more generally.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/134939
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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