The reflexive potential of silence: Emotions, the ‘everyday’ and ethical international relations

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This article argues on behalf of an autoethnographic methodology as one, but not the only, method suited to the excavation of the emotions of everyday international relations. I suggest, drawing on my own lived experiences of writing the Life in the United Kingdom Test specifically, and being ordered deported from the United Kingdom more broadly, that a reflexive practice informed by silence allows scholars to attend to the otherwise discounted and excluded forms of emotional knowledge. As my story unfolds, and the transformative potential of trauma is rehearsed, the possibility of excavating otherwise silenced emotions, guided by an affective empathy, comes to the fore. I suggest, building on my own lived experience, that as the researcher cum agent embraces this position, discounted and discarded stories are revisited. In so doing I present a piece of evocative autoethnography in and of itself while demonstrating the role that emotions can play in the construction of everyday practices of International Relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of International Political Theory
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • Autoethnography
  • emotions
  • international relations
  • reflexivity
  • the everyday


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