CfP Conference Emotional Dynamics of (In)security and Politics

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Saarland University

Emotional Dynamics of (In)security and Politics

Saarland University, June 11-13, 2024


This conference seeks to explore the relationship between feelings of (in)security and emotional needs towards protection and political responses to those feelings and needs. In the current age of insecurity, democracy and political polarization are deeply affected by citizens and non-citizens’ perceptions of security and insecurity and the emotional needs (e.g. feeling appreciated, safe, accomplished, or part of a community) associated to these perceptions. Emotions such as pride, hope, fear, anxiety, anger, hatred are crucial factors in constructing or breaking ties between citizens. We conceptualize emotional needs as politically relevant needs that have roots in perceptions towards threats. They bring the micro level of an individual’s values, affects, identities and social positionings, the meso-level of discourses, social representations and communication, and the macro-level of political reactions through policies that promise to enhance protection together. Fear and insecurity may be driven by actual crises, but also by imagined danger and the way the potential threats are constructed and communicated. Politicians not only engage with shared perceptions and collective insecurity. They may also manipulate and exploit these perceptions, creating demands for more protective policies. Therefore, we are interested in papers that investigate among others: how politicians read insecurity in current societies and whose emotional needs matter in the policy agenda; the role of citizens emotional needs towards protection in the policy-making process; and in which ways politicians intervene in crises and perceptions of threats and insecurity by fostering emotional responses on the part of multi-layered citizens and non-citizens.


We invite contributions to the following panels:


Panel 01: Emotional Responsiveness: Political and Policy Responses to Subjective

Insecurity (Prof. Dr. Georg Wenzelburger, Saarland University)

Panel 02: The Role of Emotions for Political Participation in European Democracies

(Prof. Dr. Daniela Braun, Saarland University)

Panel 03: Policy Entrepreneurs and Emotional Manipulation: Strategies, Policy

Areas, and Level of Governance (Prof. Dr. Moshe Maor, Reichman University)

Panel 04: Narratives, Representations, Migrations and Affective Citizenship (Dr. Cristiano Gianolla & Dr. Lisete Mónico (Centre for Social Studies- Coimbra University)

Panel 05: Political Psychology of Resentful Affects: Frustrations, Insecurities, and

Reactionary Preferences (Dr. Tereza Capelos, University of Southampton)

Panel 06: Marginal Populations and Political Emotions: Policy Feedback, Social Empathy and Political Agency (Prof. Dr. Peter Starke, University of Southern Denmark)

Panel 07: Different Framings of Political Messages and Their Social Consequences (Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Hamer, Institute of Psychology Polish Academy of Sciences)

Panel 08: Nationalism, Intersectionality and the Political Space to Manifest Emotions(Dr. Beatriz Carbone, Saarland University)

Panel 09: Emotions in Political Crisis Communication: A Strategic Game Between Fear and Security?! (Katja Demler, Saarland University)

Panel 10: Emotional Responses to European (Regional) Integration: from Europhobia to Euphoria (Stefanie Thurm, Saarland University)


Please send paper proposals to the conference email address, including your abstract (500 words max.), affiliation, and a short bio-note. Indicate to which panel you would like your paper to be considered. The deadline for paper proposal is December 15, 2023.

A notification of acceptance, rejection, or inclusion in the waiting list will be communicated by January 15, 2024. Participants are requested to register for the conference by March 15, 2024.


Conference Organization

Dr. Beatriz Carbone

Prof. Dr. Georg Wenzelburger


Invited Keynote Speaker

Prof. Dr. Bethany L. Albertson (The University of Texas at Austin)

Co-author of Anxious Politics: Democratic Citizenship in a Threatening World (Robert E. Lane Award 2015)


The Conference “Emotional Dynamics of (In)security and Politics” is hosted by the Chair of Political Science and Comparative European Research of Saarland University (site) and funded by the Department of International Relations of Saarland University.

There are no conference fees. We welcome papers from junior and advanced colleagues, and papers adopting multidisciplinary approaches

For queries, please contact: beatriz.junqueira-lage-carbone@