Researching Silence: A Methodological Inquiry

Elisabeth Schweiger, Kerstin Tomiak

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The role of silence has received increasing attention in International Relations, ranging from silence as exclusion to secrecy and performance. Yet, there has been little effort to draw together a more practical, methodological inquiry into silence and how to engage with it in the research processes. This article builds on existing studies on silence and our own research experiences in conducting interviews and text analysis to interrogate the role silence plays in the research process. It aims to develop methodological tools for engaging with silence and offers a practical guide to analysing it from the data generation stage to the interpretation of silence. In doing so, it also contributes to attempts to redefine the meaning of silence in International Relations by including silence as more than an absence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-646
Number of pages24
JournalMillennium: Journal of International Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • absence
  • discourse analysis
  • documents
  • interviews
  • methodology
  • silence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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