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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2021

The ambivalent political work of emotions in the defence of territory, life and the commons

González Hidalgo, Marien


The increasing focus that political ecologists are putting in the role of emotions and affect in environmental conflict, commoning and mobilisation is enriching mainstream analyses that tended to mask the everyday emotional engagements of environmental movements, collectives and communities associated to being exposed to conflict as well as being active in it. By directing attention to two different ways in which grassroots movements and communities in Chile and Mexico facilitate emotional expression in the context of the conflicts in which they are embedded in, I discuss what different roles emotion plays in the defence of the commons, and what political opportunities these different roles imply for movements and collectives. I found a persistent and unresolved tension between the role of emotions as channels for the subversion of hegemonic power, and their role in reproducing hegemonic power dynamics. I suggest that this reveals 'the emotional' as a space of power and conflict, and that acknowledging the ambivalent political work of emotions offers opportunities for both researchers and movements to better understand and transform the power inequalities associated to the defence and practice of being-in-common while being exposed to conflict and dispossession.


emotion; affect; commons; conflict; social-environmental grassroots

Publicerad i

Environment and planning E: nature and space
2021, Volym: 4, nummer: 4, sidor: 1291-1312

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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