Power, Politics and the Emotions
By Shona Hunter
Routledge-Cavendish – 2015 – 248 pages
Series: Social Justice
Offering a provocative and innovative theorisation of governance as relational politics, the central argument of Power, Politics and the Emotions is that there are complex sets of emotional dynamics which complicate the already contested terrain of social policy-making. Equality and diversity are increasingly central components of governance in Western democracies. Arising from the particular social, cultural and political conditions of the late twentieth century, they constitute an important component of the new ethico-politics or life politics, another important element of which is the turn to the emotions. These developments make us think again about the changing processes of governance and shifting relations between institutions, governors and citizens.
Power, Politics and the Emotions uses controversy over diversity and equality policies as a lens through which to explore these broader developments. Contra rationalist accounts of governance, relational politics is the messy, incoherent, ambivalent and often contradictory processes of governance which structure and are structured through social and affective dynamics. Analysing the everyday processes of this relational politics through original empirical studies into equalities work and policy in health, social care, education and the voluntary and community sector, the book develops an innovative interdisciplinary theoretical synthesis which engages with and extends work in political science, cultural theory, critical psychoanalysis and social studies of science and technology/sociology of translation.
It will be of interest to a wide range of higher level students and scholars in sociology, social and public policy, legal studies, politics, cultural studies, psychology and psychosocial studies, as well as professional policy-makers and practitioners in the field of equalities in general and in health, social care and education.
Chapter 1: Introduction: Making False Policy Promises Part 1: Policy from a Feminist Psychosocial Perspective Chapter 2: Connecting the Radical Heart of Policy Analysis to its Head Chapter 3: Equalities Policy as Relational Hinterland Part 2: The Relational Politics of Policy Making Chapter 4: The Politics of Ontological Detachment and Relational Connection Chapter 5: The Circulation and Distribution of Good and Bad Feeling Chapter 6: Sustaining Collective Challenges to Policy Monoliths Chapter 7: Mobilising Fictions; on Victims and Saviours Chapter 8: Conclusion: Taking Policy Stands