Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics

Negotiating Truth

Anna Durnová, Department of Public and Social Policy, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic and Institute for Advanced Studies,Vienna, Austria

Post-factual politics has united scientists and civil society in a public defence of truth, however, the battle may already have been lost to a binarity of facts and emotions. Analysing and comparing scientists’ protests against the Trump presidency with famous scientific controversies in modern medicine, this innovative book redefines truth as a negotiation in public discourse between the interplay of values, beliefs and facts. It shows that in order to understand post-factual politics we must unveil emotion’s role in knowledge-making.

‘Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics is a seminal, ground-breaking work of simply outstanding scholarship – making it unreservedly recommended for college and university library Contemporary Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.’
– Midwest Book Review

‘The defense of science as being free of human passions is worse than ineffective. It is part of the problem, driving public alienation from the scientific enterprise, while blinding us to the causes of that alienation. Durnova’s original analysis points to a way forward that refuses to censor the emotions that lie at the heart of the production of truth.’
– Daniel Breslau, Virginia Tech, US

‘How do we negotiate the topsy-turvy world of ‘the post-factual condition’? That’s the timely question Anna Durnová poses with her important new book. Citizens responding to brazen demagoguery must now protest ‘for reality’. It can get emotional, as the quest for truth usually is. Durnová offers insights crucial to the way ahead.’
– Douglas Torgerson, Trent University, Canada, and author of The Promise of Green Politics: Environmentalism and the Public Sphere

‘Social research should provide counterintuitive insights, and this book does precisely that, questioning how we tend to juxtapose emotions and facts. Whilst developing broader historical insights, it is also remarkably relevant to the current era.’
– Patrick Baert, University of Cambridge, UK

‘In this timely book, Durnová provides a critical inquiry of truth production in politics. By examining how facts, and our understanding of them, are mediated by human emotions, the author unravels the role of affect in the uses of science in policy-making. By making visible the emotional boundaries where values meet beliefs, Durnova exposes how and what scientific expertise gains social and political authority. This volume is thoughtful, authoritative and engaging; it is a must-read for scholars, students and practitioners seeking to understand the contours of the puzzle of post-factual politics.’
– Claire A. Dunlop, University of Exeter, UK

2019 176 pp Hardback 978 1 78811 481 3 £75.00 £67.50 $115.00 $103.50

Elgaronline 978 1 78811 482 0

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