Emotions in parliamentary diplomacy: debating the Armenian genocide in the European Parliament

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Seda Gürkan 

Why do international institutions promote emotional norms? In order to answer this question, the article, first, maps the legitimizing arguments put forward by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in promoting an emotionally loaded norm vis-à-vis Turkey, i.e., the recognition of the Armenian genocide. Second, the paper explores the reasons behind the promotion of this emotional norm by the European Parliament (EP) as justified by the MEPs. The article theoretically draws on the IR literature on emotions, and empirically, it relies on the data generated from the interventions by the MEPs at the plenary on the centenary of the Armenian genocide on 15 April 2015. Through claims analysis, it is demonstrated that the condemnation of genocide is a shared norm within the EP, which transcends national and ideological differences. Consequently, the MEPs aspire to render it an essential constitutive element of the emotional community at the EU level.