Research Webinar

The Passions of International Politics: How Emotions Shape Decision-Making in Global Security

Scholars have generally employed rational choice or constructivist perspectives to explain decision-making in world politics in general and in international security in particular. Max Weber, however, suggested a third action model in his magnum opus Economy and Society: Human decision-making can also be motivated by emotions. Drawing on Weber and more recent research in sociology and psychology, Robin Markwica introduces "emotional choice theory" into the field of International Relations. This theory, he argues, helps us to account for a broader spectrum of decision-making across different global actors and security issues.

This event is part of the International Security Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for International Security. Prior registration required. You will receive the dial-in details via e-mail ahead of the event.


Robin Markwica is an International Security Fellow in the Centre for International Security at the Hertie School, a Research Associate in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, and a Research Associate in the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on international security, war and peace, foreign policy analysis, and psychological approaches to international relations. Robin obtained an M.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and a D.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). Inbetween, he held a research fellowship at Harvard University’s Department of Government. His book Emotional choices: How the logic of affect shapes coercive diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2018) was awarded the International Security Best Book Award by the American Political Science Association and the Christiane Rajewsky Prize by the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies.

About the International Security Research Colloquium

The Centre for International Security regularly organizes a research colloquium on topics related to international security and defense. We aim to build a community of scholars, experts and policymakers interested in topics ranging from European and transatlantic security and defense cooperation, conventional and nuclear disarmament and arms control, to civil war, violence against civilians, and terrorism. The colloquium features academic scholars, post-docs and PhD students working at Berlin-based institutions as well as external guests.

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