By Mathias Delori
Emotions are often said to be a hard case for empirical analysis because of their ‘intimate’ nature. This chapter argues that this perspective stems from a misleading view of the real nature of emotions. As Butler recently put it, emotions are inseparable from the social ‘frames’ which constitute them. Hence, it is possible to bypass the epistemological problem of the study of emotions by studying these frames. I make this point by elaborating on an inquiry into the ‘frames’ which mediate French airmen’s emotional relation to violence. I analyse their emotional approach to violence in three steps: (1) data collection, (2) an analysis of the language they use when talking about their victims, and (3) an investigation of the routinized procedures which precede their lethal actions.
In: M. Clément & E. Sangar (éds.). Researching Emotions in International Relations : Methodological Perspectives on the Emotional Turn, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018