Leah de Haan
Editorial Assistant, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, UK
Local knowledge, and especially the complex and multiple ways it interacts with all our other knowledges, is key to how we comprehend the world. The tumultuous political landscape we are living through highlights the role of this interaction. The widespread inability to resist ‘post-truth’ and ‘fake news’ shows not only a severe lack of political knowledge but a problem with our local knowledge. If people are unable to politically comprehend populism and discrimination, you would hope their specific local knowledge would at least do part of the job. The way we recognise friends in our community, the way we identify sadness or respect, the way we raise our families – these are our local knowledges that should be supplementing our political knowledges. In our homes and communities, we learn to care for each other and the damage that can be done. For me, the political thinkers, Michel Foucault (1926-1984), Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Judith Butler are key to the political knowledge I utilise to make sense of the world and in my studies, intersecting with my local knowledges.