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How policymakers use the power of their convictions to lead in international relations

Table of contents

1. Cognitive Emotional Leadership Theory
2. Leading by Defection: Recognizing Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia
3. The Showman Peacemaker: The 2008 Russia-Georgia War
4. Leadership from Resonating Outrage: Sanctioning Russia Over Ukraine
5. Confronting Monsters: Air Strikes Against ISIS
A. Appendix on Methods
B. Appendix on Internationalized Intrastate Conflicts


How do international leaders emerge and why are they successful in bringing followers to converge on their positions? The Passion of International Leadership draws on recent advances in political psychology and state-of-the-art research in International Relations to go beyond current knowledge and simplistic accounts of international leadership. It tells surprising and intense stories of policymakers at the head of great powers attempting to cooperate during crisis moments, and uses these stories to challenge commonly held beliefs and intuitions about international leadership.
Beauregard explores international leadership in four cases of transatlantic cooperation when Western policymakers were confronted with foreign conflicts, like civil or secessionist wars. He provides a fascinating study of the recognition of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia during the wars in Yugoslavia; the peace mediation during the Russia-Georgia war in 2008; the adoption of economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine; and finally, cooperation on striking against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The book argues that leaders are driven by their convictions, and that they must strike a balance between the intense emotions associated with their beliefs and their need to represent a broader community. At the same time as they seek to bring followers on board by persuading them, they need to pay attention to emotionally contagious and resonant events that can alter the course of international cooperation.

Philippe Beauregard is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Aberdeen.

“Beauregard’s The Passion of International Leadership offers an important and timely account of leaders’ emotions and the processes of persuasion, resonance, and contagion that constitute followership. With cross-disciplinary theorizing and four engaging case studies, the book sheds new light on when intensities of emotion begin, where they travel, and how they impact diplomacy and cooperation.”
—Andrew A.G. Ross, Professor of Political Science, Ohio University

- Andrew A.G. Ross