SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (8): 1423-1432.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2023.08.011

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Geographical logic within interdisciplinary research on emotional geopolitics and Psychology

Wang Min1(), Zhu Hong2,3,*()   

  1. 1. School of Geography/Center for Asian Geography Studies, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, Guangdong, China
    2. School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong, China
    3. South China Research Center for Human Geography and Urban Development, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2022-03-20 Revised:2022-08-11 Online:2023-08-20 Published:2023-08-30
  • Contact: Zhu Hong;E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation(42271241);National Natural Science Foundation(42142025)


The 'emotional turn' of western social sciences prompts human geography to pay attention to how emotions construct spatial meaning. Individuals' emotional response as a 'bottom-up' force has also begun to be concerned by Political Geography, forming a research paradigm of 'emotional geopolitics'. But it is still stuck in understanding and analyzing emotion with symbols, texts and discourses as mediators. In recent years, literatures in international relations have introduced the epistemology and methodology of psychology and neuroscience into the analysis of the relationship between emotion and political activities, calling for a return to the mechanism of emotion generation itself. They deny that political behavior is completely rational, believe that the reconstruction of international relations must be influenced by irrational factors, especially emotions, and try to integrate the mechanisms of affective neuroscience into the theory of international relations. Therefore, this paper calls on geopolitical research to urgently need knowledge spillover from the perspective of geography when focusing on the relationship between emotion and environment, space and place, and to return to the discussion of emotion generation mechanism itself. We firstly sorts out the 'emotional turn' in geopolitics, and discusses the definition of the concept of emotion and its research paradigm in emotional geopolitics. This finds that emotional geopolitics attempts to construct an irrational, pluralistic and individualized political narrative. It takes everyday life as a research field and focuses on how individual emotional power is linked to the geo-environment. However, geopolitical analysis of the connotation and formation mechanism of emotion itself is not thorough, and there is also a lack of techniques and methods to directly measure emotion, and emotion is regarded as a cultural concept constructed in the context of the geo-environment. Then, we tries to draw on the research perspective that intersects with psychology disciplines, combined with the epistemology of non-representational theory on emotion, and establishes the emotional geopolitical research framework of 'mind-body-environment'. In epistemology, this paper argues that in emotional geopolitical analysis, emotional awareness, physical experience and geographical environment should be organically combined to understand how emotion occurs in a specific geographical environment as an over-cognitive habit and reacts to geographical forces. For methodology, from an interdisciplinary perspective, we discusses the methodology of emotional geopolitics. We advocates a combination of naturalism and constructivism, a combination of 'first-person' and 'third-person' approaches. The contribution of this paper is to further highlight the theoretical and practical value of emotion in geopolitical research, so that emotion governance is not only the governance of discourse symbols, but also the whole process of emotional governance from the macro-decision level. At the same time, interdisciplinary research helps to export geography's understanding of space, place and environment to psychology, and make up for the lack of spatial perspective in psychology. The cross-disciplinary analysis framework proposed in this paper mainly draws on the cross-related studies of geopolitics and psychology in the West, and relevant researches in China are still scarce. Based on the Chinese context, more empirical research needs to be focused and discussed in the future.

Key words: geopolitics, emotion, Psychology, interdisciplinary, mind-body-environment

CLC Number: 

  • K901.4