On Endurance: The Politics of Being Between Pain and Boredom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter elaborates on the specificities of the concept of endurance and argues that it is problematic to use it simplistically as a synonym for other things such as resilience, resistance, or perseverance. In particular, the chapter examines the origins of endurance in Christianity, where it has been bound up with a positive view of human and spiritual capacities to bear pain and suffering as well as have hope. In the modern era, however, the concept of endurance was taken up within philosophical movements which connected it especially with the problem of boredom. How to endure boredom once we have freed ourselves from pain and suffering and no longer need hope? This modern debate on the endurance of boredom has also been essential to debates on political power. Endurance is seen as both an attribute of the subject of struggle against power and an attribute of the subject produced by power. Endurance is especially relevant to debates on neoliberalism and right-wing populism. People tired of enduring boredom have sought relief through these different regimes in search of a life of intensity, all of which indicates the complex specificities of endurance and warns against confusing it with other concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Meanings of Endurance
Subtitle of host publicationAn Interdisciplinary Approach
EditorsNoel Salazar, Jeroen Scheerder
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-32184-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-34384-6, 978-1-032-34385-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesRoutledge Studies in Resilience


  • endurance
  • pain
  • boredom
  • politics
  • religion
  • populism

Field of science

  • International political science


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