Concealed Silences and Inaudible Voices in Political Thinking investigates silence as a normal, ubiquitous, and indispensable element of political thinking, theory, and language. It explores the diverse dimensions in which silences mould the different core features of the political, as a highly flexible power resource, both enabling and constraining major social practices, traditions, and currents. Departing from the typical focus on intentional silencing and the dominance of logos, the book instead highlights the concealed and unrecognized ways through which silence pervades socio-political life and adopts the guises of the unspeakable, the ineffable, the inarticulable, and the unconceptualizable. Drawing extensively from historical, philosophical, anthropological, psychoanalytical, theological, linguistic, and literary viewpoints, the book demonstrates the common threads that connect silences to those different disciplines, alongside the features that pull them asunder. In extracting and decoding their political implications, it explores both academic literature and colloquial, everyday discourse.

Michael Freeden is Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford; and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has also held positions at Nottingham University and at SOAS, London University. He has written extensively on liberal thought, the study of ideologies, and the nature of political thinking, as well as on conceptual history, and was the founder-editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies. He was awarded the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies by the UK Political Studies Association, and the Medal for Science, Institute of Advanced Studies, Bologna University.

Research Seminar Series



MCC students can get credit for active participation at the event, but only if they read the compulsory reading and prepare three questions for the Q&A section of the research seminar.

Questions in connection with the compulsory reading should be sent to Kálmán Pócza ( latest by 6 May 2024 11.00 pm.

Compulsory reading: Michael Freeden: Concealed Silences and Inaudible Voices in Political Thinking (Oxford: OUP, 2023), Chapters 1-3 and 7, 11, 13 (Please contact Kálmán Pócza for the electronic version of the book)

Deadline: 6 May 2024, 11.00pm