Sound Matters: How Sonic Formations Shape the Nuclear Deterrence and Non-Proliferation Regimes

Xavier Guillaume*, Kyle Grayson

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Sound matters for international political sociology. Drawing upon liter- ature from cultural geography and sound studies, we argue that sound contributes to political dynamics that are constitutive of world politics. To capture these dynamics, we offer a set of conceptual frameworks to analyze sound. First, we differentiate the concept of sound from noise and show the importance of doing so. Second, we introduce “sonic formations” as a means of capturing how sound contributes to world politics. Third, we make the case for analyzing sound’s historicity, adaptability, relationality, and performativity (SHARP) in any given context. Fourth, using sonic for- mations and the SHARP framework, we examine an illustrative case study: the nuclear deterrence and non-proliferation regimes. By focusing on the role of sound in these regimes, our preliminary findings demonstrate the utility for the field of undertaking additional work to capture the wider significance of sound. This includes its contributions to shaping relations of power.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-171
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Political Sociology
    Volume15
    Issue number2
    Early online date5-Nov-2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2021

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