The study of emotions in International Relations is gaining wide-spread attention. Within the "emotional turn" in IR the emotion of rage however has not been given sufficient attention, instead being used as short-hand for irrationality and excess.

Rage is arguably one of the oldest and most destructive emotions in human affairs. This book offers an innovative approach that seeks to split rage into its traditional manifestation of aggression and violence, and into a less visible, passive manifestation of Nietzschean Ressentiment. This model facilitates a comprehensive understanding of revisionist motivation, from the violence of ISIS to the oppositionism of Putin’s Russia. The aim is to illustrate how a lack of violence can belie vengeful impulses and a silent rage, and how acts of violence, regardless of brutality, are often framed as a type of justice and "moral imperative" in the mind of the aggressor. This book raises serious questions and concerns about legitimacy and order in global affairs, and offers a firm theoretical basis for the exploration of present day conflicts.

chapter |10 pages


chapter 1|26 pages

Experiencing negative emotions

Moral attitude anger versus objective attitude rage

chapter 2|20 pages

Rage in myth and metaphor

chapter 3|23 pages

Moralizing rage

Mandates in group violence

chapter 4|25 pages

Rage of the powerless

Ressentiment as “silent punishment”

chapter 5|22 pages

An existentialist reading of revenge

chapter 6|29 pages

A Carthaginian peace

The early American occupation of West Germany, 1945–1947

chapter |5 pages