Disturbing Binaries in Political Thought: Silence as Political Activism

Hatzisavvidou, Sophia. 2015. Disturbing Binaries in Political Thought: Silence as Political Activism. Social Movement Studies, 14(5), pp. 509-522. ISSN 1474-2837 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

‘Keeping silent’ can be a meaningful political event, a form of political activism that generates new political subjectivities and alters existing realities by reconfiguring power relations. To flesh out this argument, this paper attends to a particular silent protest and affirms it as a tactic employed by an emergent political collectivity to make itself perceptible, declare an injustice and challenge institutional power. As such, the silent event under scrutiny does not merely invite a turning of our attention to a practice that breaks the association of the political subject with the speaking subject; it also invites a reconsideration of what we are accustomed to accept as political activism. ‘Keeping silent’ is a critical practice, indeed, because it manifests an alternative possibility of being and acting; in so doing, it disrupts established patterns of thought and practice, and more specifically the rigid distinction between speech and silence.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Dualism, de Certeau, activism, non-violent movements, democracy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Feb 2016 12:21

Last Modified:

10 Feb 2016 12:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)