ISBN : 9780197526385
Vicarious identification, or "living through another" is a familiar social-psychological concept. Shaped by insecurity and a lack of self-fulfilment, it refers to the processes by which actors gain a sense of self-identity, purpose, and self-esteem through appropriating the achievements and experiences of others. As this book argues, it is also an under-appreciated and increasingly relevant strategy of international relations. According to this theory, states identify and establish special relationships with other nations (often in an aspirational way) in order to strengthen their sense of self, security, and status on the global stage. This identification is also central to the politics of citizenship and can be manipulated by states to justify their global ambitions. For example, why might the United States look at Israel as a model for its own foreign policies? What shaped the politics of Brexit and why is the United Kingdom so attached to its transatlantic "special relationship" with the United States? And, why did Denmark so enthusiastically ally with the United States during the global War on Terror? Vicarious identity, as the authors argue, is at the core of these international dynamics. Vicarious Identity in International Relations examines the ways in which vicarious identity is relevant to global politics: across individuals; between citizens and states; and across states, regional communities, or civilizations. It looks at a range of cases (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Denmark), which illustrate that vicarious political identity is dynamic and emerges in different contexts, but particularly when nations face crisis, both internally and externally. In addition, the book outlines a qualitative methodology for analyzing vicarious identity at the collective level.
Chapter One: Vicarious Identity: An Overview
Chapter Two: Vicarious Identity in International Relations
Chapter Three: US Vicarious Identity with Israel: 1967-2020
Chapter Four: Vicarious Identification as Foreign Policy Strategy: The UK-US Special Relationship
Chapter Five: Aspiring for Vicarious Identity Through Engagement in War: The Case of Denmark