Collective Fear and Societal Change

Jack Michael Barbalet, Nicolas Demertzis

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Political tensions are immersed in emotions of every kind: primary, secondary, tertiary, moral, negative, positive, self-targeted, other-directed and so on. It is impossible to discern and describe their entirety, as affectivity is inseparable from every aspect of political activity, in spite of the misrecognition of this link on the part of academic political analysis over the last decades or so. Prominent among the emotions of political significance is fear, a basic or primary emotion which has been studied by philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and political scientists. Of the voluminous scholarly and lay literature, this chapter addresses three common assumptions: first, fear is an individual reaction to physical or even socio-political threat; second, fear is exclusively an emotion of those in subordinate or weak positions or roles; third, fear is experienced as introjected or extrojected, corresponding respectively to behaviours of flight or fight, subjugation or rebellion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotions in Politics
Subtitle of host publicationThe Affect Dimension in Political Tension
EditorsNicolas Demertzis
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137025661
ISBN (Print)9781137025654, 9781349439003
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Political Psychology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Basic Emotion
  • Labour Movement
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Regional City
  • Societal Change


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