Thursday Common Hour: The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict by Roger Petersen

Thursday, April 17, 2014
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Mather Hall Rittenberg Lounge
Event Type
Mary Beth White
Political Science

Conflicts involve powerful experiences. The residue of these experiences is captured by the concept and language of emotion. Indiscriminate killing creates fear; targeted violence produces anger and a desire for vengeance; political status reversals spawn resentment; cultural prejudices sustain ethnic contempt. The talk will examine the strategic use of emotion in the conflicts and interventions occurring in the Western Balkans over a twenty-year period, concentrating on the conflicts among Albanian and Slavic populations in Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, and South Serbia.
Roger Petersen holds BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago, and has taught at MIT since 2001. Petersen studies comparative politics with a special focus on conflict and violence, mainly in Eastern Europe, but also in Colombia. He is the author of three books: Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe (2001), Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, Resentment in Twentieth Century Eastern Europe (2002), and Western Intervention in the Balkans: The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict (2011).

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