Book launch: The Politics of Intimacy - Rethinking the End-of-Life Controversy

The Institute of International Relations would like to cordially invite you to a book launch taking place on September 13 at 6 PM at the Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1. 

13. 9. 2018 (18:00)

Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1

Debates on the end-of-life controversy are complex because they seem to highjack national and cultural traditions. Where previous books have focused on ideological grounds, The Politics of Intimacy explores dying as the site where policies are negotiated and implemented. Intimacy comprises the emotional experience of the end of life and how we acknowledge it—or not—through institutions. This process shows that end-of-life controversy relies on the conflict between the individual and these institutions, a relationship that is the cornerstone of Western liberal democracies.

Through interviews with mourners, stakeholders, and medical professionals, examination of media debates in France and the Czech Republic, Durnová shows that liberal institutions, in their attempts to accommodate the emotional experience at the end of life, ultimately fail. She describes this deadlock as the “politics of intimacy,” revealing that political institutions deploy power through collective acknowledgment of individual emotions but fail to maintain this recognition because of this same experience.

“Anna Durnová’s book joins the scholarship on flows of ideas and practices across borders, on emotions and IR, on the body and IR, and on “the every day” and IR. Her interviews, reviews of media coverage, and other research findings allow her to tell very interesting and analytically rich stories that tease out the relations between government, medical professionals, patients and their loved ones, and contending advocacy organizations.” —Renee Marlin-Bennett, Johns Hopkins University

“Even as Anna Durnová creates two utterly compelling empirical case studies, she makes a major theoretical contribution to the sociology of emotion. She conceptualizes public expressions of suffering as a new and powerful discourse of intimacy that challenges institutions of power.” —Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University

Working language is English.