As an extension of my other work examining human-environment relationships, this project considers some ways in which thinking about spaces and connections to spaces may impact other types of relationships, including those at the center of international diplomacy. Not all countries have the space for large militaries, or the ability to 'project power' across space. So how do countries with limited coercive power -- military or economic might, for example -- remain effective in international affairs? For the Nordic countries, which have de-emphasized such approaches to international relations since the early 20th century, one strategy has emphasized the deployment of soft power. Soft power includes things like cultural products (design, music, artwork), socio-economic policies (public social support, urban planning, ‘knowledge economies’), and tourism programs.
One thing my co-author Todd Sundberg and I have studied is the way in which affect, or emotion, is utilized in the deployment of soft power. In particular, we examine how the concept of “hygge”, or, “coziness”, has been mobilized as a component of Danish international relations. We examined Danish- and English-language source materials produced by different parts of the Danish government to try and understand how Denmark's "national feeling" has been used in diplomatic endeavors.
See my CV page for links to publications in this area.