Montag, 24. April 2023

Undemocratic Emotions – The Example of Israel

Book presentation by WZB Visiting Research Professor Eva Illouz, on her new Suhrkamp book (forthcoming April 2023)

Attendance Event


Is it better for a ruler to be loved or feared? Since the two are difficult to combine, Machiavelli prioritizes fear in Il Principe, his famous treatise on the principles of the reason of state. In her new book published with Suhrkamp, Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz and WZB Visiting Research Professor echoes Machiavelli in two ways: she underscores the importance of emotions in politics and she elaborates on how right-wing populists instrumentalize certain emotions.

Since its founding, the state of Israel has been shaped by security issues more than almost any other country. In this situation, Illouz says, longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to be loved precisely because of the fear he sows. Through extensive interviews with human rights activists and others, Illouz shows in her new Suhrkamp book how fear and resentment divide societies and undermine democracy.

Welcome note by Jutta Allmendinger, President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center


  • Jelena Cupać, Postdoctoral researcher at the WZB Research Unit Global Governance
  • Christian von Scheve, Head of the Research Group “Sociology of Emotion” at Freie Universität Berlin
  • Daniel Ziblatt, Director of the WZB Research Unit Transformations of Democracy

Moderated by Michael Zürn, Director of the WZB Research Unit Global Governance


The data protection notice on photo and film recordings can be found here.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please let Friederike Theilen-Kosch (friederike.theilen-kosch [at] know if you need special assistance.