Introduction
Representation, recognition and respect in world politics
in Representation, recognition and respect in world politics
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This chapter introduces the main objective of my book: to demonstrate how representation and recognition influence foreign policy, with specific reference to Iran and the United States, and the methodology used in the study. It explores the connection between representations and recognition and how these are informed by feelings of respect or disrespect that instigate the projection or protection of state identity. The key argument of this book is that representations are important because they shape both the identity of a state and how it is recognised by others. Representational schemas are key to producing images of state Self and Other that act to reinforce or re-imagine frameworks of national identity. Recognition plays a crucial role in the process because inadequate or failed recognition is tantamount to what quickly becomes perceived as disrespect. Disrespect acts as a trigger for foreign policy that is in itself an emotional reaction or response to particular representations. Emotions are linked to the constitution of a collective identity, which in turn has implications for the forms and types of representations that are used to talk about the Self and the Other. Such emotional division is part of a broader process of boundary making that informs interstate engagement.

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