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Research Methods in Conflict Settings
A View from Below


Dyan Mazurana, Lacey Gale, Karen Jacobsen, Catherine Hébert, Isis Nusair, Michael Wessells, Tania Kaiser, Cathrine Brun, Jok Madut Jok, Molly Bingham, Steve Connors, Paul Fishstein, Andrew Wilder, Timothy Longman, Elisabeth Wood
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  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107038103

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About the Authors
  • Increasing numbers of researchers are working in regions experiencing high levels of conflict or crisis, or among populations that have fled violent conflict to become refugees or internally displaced persons. Understanding these conflicts and their aftermath should be shaped not only by the victors and their elite companions but also by the local people whose daily lives become intertwined with the conflict - this 'view from below' is explored in this volume. Conducting rigorous research in these contexts presents a range of ethical, methodological, logistical and security challenges not usually confronted in non-conflict field contexts. This volume compiles lessons learned by experienced field researchers, many of whom have faced demanding situations characterized by violence, distrust and social fragmentation. The authors offer options for studying the situations of people affected by conflict and, by focusing on ethical and security issues, seek ways to safeguard the interests and integrity of the research 'subjects' and of the researchers and their teams.

    • Discusses some of the conceptual and practical challenges facing independent researchers, journalists and filmmakers working in conflict zones
    • Presents contributions written by researchers with experience in active conflict zones
    • The first book to offer perspectives from contributors conducting academic research, documenting human rights violations, writing or filming for commercial media, and building research institutions in conflict affected countries
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107038103
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A view from below: conducting research in conflict zones Dyan Mazurana, Lacey Gale and Karen Jacobsen
    2. The other side of the country: filming the human experience of war Catherine Hébert
    3. Negotiating identity, space, and place among Iraqi women refugees in Jordan Isis Nusair
    4. Reflections on ethical and practical challenges of conducting research with children in war zones: toward a grounded approach Michael Wessells
    5. Researching social life in protracted exile: experiences with Sudanese refugees in Uganda 1996–2008 Tania Kaiser
    6. 'I love my soldier' developing responsible and ethically sound research strategies in a militarized society Cathrine Brun
    7. Power dynamics and the politics of fieldwork under Sudan's prolonged conflicts Jok Madut Jok
    8. Reporting the story: thoughts for reporting on violent groups in a turbulent environment Molly Bingham and Steve Connors
    9. Establishing a policy research organization in a conflict zone: the case of the Afghanistan research and evaluation unit Paul Fishstein and Andrew Wilder
    10. Conducting research in conflict zones: lessons from the African great lakes region Timothy Longman
    11. Preparing for research in active conflict zones: practical considerations for personal safety Dyan Mazurana and Lacey Gale
    12. Afterword Elisabeth Wood.

  • Editors

    Dyan Mazurana, Tufts University, The Fletcher School
    Dyan Mazurana is Associate Research Professor at the Fletcher School, and Research Director of Gender, Youth, and Community at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University. Mazurana's areas of specialty include women's and children's rights during and after armed conflict, armed opposition groups' serious crimes and violations committed during armed conflict, and remedy and reparation. Her most recent books include After the Taliban: Life and Security in Rural Afghanistan (2008, with Nojumi and Stites), and Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping (2005, with Raven-Roberts and Parpart). She has published more than seventy scholarly and policy books, articles and international reports in numerous languages.

    Karen Jacobsen, Tufts University, The Fletcher School
    Karen Jacobsen is Associate Professor at the School of Nutrition and Science Policy, and teaches at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. She is based at the Feinstein International Center where she leads the Refugees and Forced Migration Program. Jacobsen's current research focuses on urban refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa, and on livelihood interventions in conflict-affected areas. Her most recent book, The Economic Life of Refugees, was published in 2005. She teaches courses on field research methods and on forced migration.

    Lacey Andrews Gale, Feinstein International Center
    Lacey Gale is Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, and Research Associate in the Africana Studies Program at Bowdoin College. Her current research focuses on community leadership, healing and storytelling among refugee diasporas in the United States. Gale has worked with refugee populations in West Africa and the United States since 1998. She has conducted research and written on issues of gender and family, child fostering, youth leadership, durable solutions, host-refugee relationships, and transnational connections and remittance sending among refugee diasporas.


    Dyan Mazurana, Lacey Gale, Karen Jacobsen, Catherine Hébert, Isis Nusair, Michael Wessells, Tania Kaiser, Cathrine Brun, Jok Madut Jok, Molly Bingham, Steve Connors, Paul Fishstein, Andrew Wilder, Timothy Longman, Elisabeth Wood

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