Contrary to the classical authors who from Aristotle to William James contrasted reason and emotion, this book shows that they are complementary. They are the necessary subconscious bedrock of our mental activities.
Applying recent research in the domain of neuroscience along with ample experience, the author reveals the positive role our emotions play in our political decisions. Anxiety, for example, far from throwing voters into the arms of a strong man, and being a danger to democracy, makes them think. It turns them away from their acquired habits and encourages "rational" behavior.
The "sentimental" citizen is he or she who best exercises critical judgment and translates it into coherent choices. Such is the paradoxical thesis that George E. Marcus defends, in this short volume, clearly and convincingly.
George E. Marcus is Professor of Political Science at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Former President of the International Society of Political Psychology (2006-07), he is internationally known for his research on Political Psychology, particularly on the role of emotion in democratic politics.