This chapter conceptualizes friendship and operationalizes it through Mark Bevir’s and R. A. W. Rhodes’ Interpretive Political Science (IPS). This method is illustrated by assessing the political friendship between Winston S. Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Because friendship is such an unfathomable and highly individual phenomenon, this chapter takes a distinctly interpretivist approach. Therefore, this chapter is of particular interest to scholars who want to make sense of the role of personal relations in IR, but find traditional IR theories and methods unsatisfactory. Studying friendship between state leaders differentiates itself from the current state of the art in the studies of emotions and friendship in IR, because it examines friendship at the intermediary level, rather than at the individual or the collective level.

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van Hoef, Y. (2017). Interpreting Affect Between State Leaders. In Researching emotions in international relations - methodological perspectives on the emotional turn. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-65575-8_3