Mimetic desire and ressentiment in the case of the Japan–South Korea trade dispute

Faraoun, Ahjem (2021) Mimetic desire and ressentiment in the case of the Japan–South Korea trade dispute. European Journal of Korean Studies, 20 (2). pp. 251-300. ISSN 2631-4134

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The purpose of this paper is to provide an explanatory account of the role of emotions in the trade dispute between Japan and South Korea which started in July 2019. Building on an integrated approach to the study of emotions in international relations, it argues that the collective experience of emotions in situations of conflict has to be understood in relation to the moralities assumed by the parties involved. It proposes a theoretical framework combining the concepts of mimetic desire and ressentiment coined by René Girard and Friedrich Nietzsche, respectively, in order to problematize the dialectic of power-justice underlying the processes of legitimation and self-justification by the two countries. In this sense, the strong emotional reactivity between both elites and people in South Korea and Japan can be attributed to the contradictions between the desires for superiority and equality channelled by nation-state-centred narratives. It concludes that ending the cycle of emotional reactivity requires both parties to move toward commitments to justice and empathy at the domestic and international levels.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Mimetic Desire, Ressentiment, IR, South Korean Trade Disputes, Emotion in IR
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2021 08:07
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2021 08:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/102361

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