Assembling credibility: Knowledge, method and critique in times of ‘post-truth’

Claudia Aradau, Jef Huysmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
248 Downloads (Pure)


Critical approaches in security studies have been increasingly turning to methods and standards internal to knowledge practice to validate their knowledge claims. This quest for scientific standards now also operates against the background of debates on ‘post-truth’, which raise pressing and perplexing questions for critical lines of thought. We propose a different approach by conceptualizing validity as practices of assembling credibility in which the transversal formation and circulation of credits and credentials combine with disputes over credence and credulity. This conceptualization of the validity of (critical) security knowledge shifts the focus from epistemic and methodological standards to transepistemic practices and relations. It allows us to mediate validity critically as a sociopolitical rather than strictly scientific accomplishment. Developing such an understanding of validity makes it possible for critical security studies and international relations to displace epistemic disputes about ‘post-truth’ with transversal practices of knowledge creation, circulation and accreditation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-58
Number of pages19
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number1
Early online date7 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Critical security studies
  • methodology
  • post-truth
  • science and technology studies
  • validity


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