Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Invisibility, like visibility, is a set of practices and ideas that order the world and its politics. This chapter offers an initial typology of four modes or conceptions of invisibility, the assumptions made about the nature of knowledge and the politics that results: invisibility as barrier, as inexpertise, as culture and as absolute. Invisibility as barrier is therefore intertwined with cultures of secrecy and security discourses: that something cannot be seen is either articulated as safer, meaning it needs to be kept secret and concealed, or more threatening and it has to be revealed. Invisibility is not the product of barriers, inexpertise or exclusively culture, but may be, first the result of phenomena and ideas exceeding any capacity to render visible. Second, conceptions of "invisibility as absolute" are also connected with a more relational understanding of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisual Global Politics
EditorsRoland Bleiker
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781315856506
ISBN (Print)9780415726061, 9780415726078
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018

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