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We need to talk about silence: Re-examining silence in International Relations theory

By Sophia Dingli


The critique of silence in International Relations theory has been long-standing and sustained. However, despite the lasting popularity of the term, little effort has been made to unpack the implications of existing definitions and their uses, and of attempts to rid the worlds of theory and practice of silences. This article seeks to fill this vacuum by conducting a twofold exercise: a review and revision of the conceptualisation of silence current in the literature; and a review of the implications of attempts to eliminate silence from the worlds of theory and practice. Through the discussion, the article suggests that we deepen and broaden our understanding of silence while simultaneously accepting that a degree of silence will be a permanent feature of theory and practice in international politics. Finally, the conclusion illustrates the possibilities for analysis and theory opened by these arguments through an exploration of how they may be used to interpret and address recent events in Yemen

Publisher: SAGE
Year: 2015
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Enlighten

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