Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Dynamics of willful blindness: an introduction

Pelkmans, Mathijs and Bovensiepen, Judith (2019) Dynamics of willful blindness: an introduction. Critique of Anthropology. ISSN 0308-275X (In Press)

[img] Text (Dynamics of willful blindness) - Accepted Version
Download (198kB)


What are the politics of ignorance in an age of misinformation? How can the concept of ‘willful blindness’ help us to understand the logics involved? We start the introduction to this special issue by arguing that the intrinsic instability of willful blindness draws valuable attention to the graded nature of intentionality and perception, and the tensions between them. These features are an essential part of the workings of ignorance, as we illustrate with reference to the shifting intentions of drug couriers, the fleeting moments in which the humanity of victims is recognised in the midst of violent acts, and the affects that channel economic behaviour, such as in the subprime mortgage crisis. When approaching perception and intentionality as complexly entangled in institutionalised fields of power, ‘willful blindness’ emerges as a powerful and critical diagnostic of the epistemic instabilities of our time.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 11:21
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2020 23:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics