What is it about?

Affect was an essential component of the Arab uprisings, and it remains an important medium for shaping everyday politics in the Middle East and beyond. Yet while affect is beginning to be conceived as integral to studies of social movements, endeavors to control individual and collective affect in the praxis of statecraft remain understudied—despite robust evidence that affect and emotion are intimately entwined with political behavior and decision-making on a wide range of issues spanning voter preference to foreign policy. This article examines how such control takes effect, situating the sensory body as a bridge and key site of interaction and contestation for diverse projects that seek to influence behavioral outcomes via the manipulation of public space.

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Why is it important?

Understanding how affect and emotion work in politics gives us a better understanding of technologies and modalities of state control that shape political behaviors. This works helps to reveal the influential role of embodied politics in revolutionary and counterrevolutionary movements in the Middle East and beyond.

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This page is a summary of: Engineering Affect, Middle East Law and Governance, November 2019, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/18763375-01102005.
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