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The Consequences of HumiliationThe Consequences of Humiliation

Anger and Status in World Politics

Joslyn Barnhart

Narrated by

Available from Audible

Book published by Cornell University Press

The Consequences of Humiliation explores the nature of national humiliation and its impact on foreign policy. Joslyn Barnhart demonstrates that Germany's catastrophic reaction to humiliation at the end of World War I is part of a broader pattern: states that experience humiliating events are more likely to engage in international aggression aimed at restoring the state's image in its own eyes and in the eyes of others.

Barnhart shows that these states also pursue conquest, intervene in the affairs of other states, engage in diplomatic hostility and verbal discord, and pursue advanced weaponry and other symbols of national resurgence at higher rates than non-humiliated states in similar foreign policy contexts. Her examination of how national humiliation functions at the individual level explores leaders' domestic incentives to evoke a sense of national humiliation. As a result of humiliation on this level, the effects may persist for decades, if not centuries, following the original humiliating event.


The Consequences of Humiliation is a marvelous book. It addresses an important but understudied topic, moving forward a burgeoning literature on status and emotional impulses behind foreign policy.”

—Brian Rathbun, University of Southern California, author of Reasoning of State

“Joslyn Barnhart musters an impressive array of empirical data that unpacks the concepts of status, shame, and humiliation in great power politics.”

—Alex Weisiger, University of Pennsylvania, author of Logics of War

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University Press Audiobooks