Constance Duncombe
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Recognition and foreign policy
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This chapter examines the role of recognition in foreign policy. It argues that the powerful links between recognition and representation can best be appreciated through a focus on emotions. Conceptualising emotions as part of the struggle for recognition provides a clear mechanism for understanding why states choose to act in defence of an identity, rather than accepting or rethinking how they are recognised. Engaging with the emotional issue of disrespect within the struggle for recognition offers a key for navigating the reasons behind specific foreign policy decisions. States respond to representations of themselves that do not fit with their own constructed image, claiming misrecognition. How states represent and recognise one another has implications for how they behave: this can trigger political crises or open potential avenues for peace. Such a focus allows us to understand how the politics of representation influences foreign policy, and vice versa, creating a deeper comprehension of how and why shifts in policymaking evolve.

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