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Dissidence, Richard K. Ashley, and the Politics of Silence

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kyle Grayson


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Within the academy we are taught to look for silence – as a noun. We are counselled to find gaps in the literature or empirical case studies that have yet to be researched in order to bring our own voice to the issues that they raise. But, there is a tension with the other face of silence, when it assumes the form of a verb. Silence and silencing have therefore been integral motivators for the entire spectrum of ‘critical’ literature within international studies, not only to show what cannot be spoken or thought about within international studies but also, at times, how this can be a deliberate political practice. But there remains a hope. The hope is that the catalyst for transformation – not merely change – is within that which we already know and that which we already have the ability to articulate or to speak. But should we take these assumptions for granted? It is at this precise point where the concerns of Richard K. Ashley with dissidence can combine with the conceptual provocations of the case of the Pirahã people of western Amazonia to generate some uncertainty about the revelations that ‘critical’ scholarship often wants to provide.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Grayson KA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Review of International Studies

Year: 2010

Volume: 36

Issue: 4

Pages: 1005-1019

Print publication date: 01/11/2010

ISSN (print): 0260-2105

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9044

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0260210510001415


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