Op het elan van de democratie : Emoties als mobilisatiefactor in de Belgische politieke geschiedenis

Res Publica 44 (1):97-117 (2002)
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In recent years, several authors have stated that emotions have come to play a more important role in political life, especially in political mass mobilisation. Ouring the 1990s, Belgium and other Western countries have indeed witnessed some spectacular examples of emotion-driven mobilisation. In this article, we argue that emotions are not an innovation in political mass-mobilisation. Various examples from the Belgian political history of the 19th and 20th centuries demonstrate that emotions have always been a key factor for explaining the occurrence, the form and the outcome of political protest. The mobilising role of emotions cannot be considered as aquantitative innovation, and therefore the expression 'new emotional movements' does not seem warranted. We make the claim that these recent mobilisations are not typical because of their reliance on emotions, but rather because of their tendency toward de-institutionalisation.



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