Reflections on the archive as a critical resource
ByChris Rogers
Pages 4

This chapter considers the archive's ability to play a role in critical political economy's methodological 'toolbox'. It highlights how the archive allows for the contextualisation of political processes and demonstrates the kinds of struggle that the archive unleashes for political and economic decision-making. The chapter suggests that the archive can shed light on the processes through which prevailing forms of social relationship are changed or recreated through political action. As a research method, the archive can not only help to confirm facts and existing interpretations of political events; it can also reveal dissonance between private and public discourses, a dissonance that illustrates the ways in which political strategies are used to mediate contradictions faced by state managers. The chapter also demonstrates that the archive, in combination with other methods, can illuminate contests or struggles over policy, it has also aimed to underscore that the interpretations produced through archival research are likely to be subjective.