Researching Violently Divided Societies:
Ethical and Methodological Issues
2003, 240 pages
Edited by Marie Smyth and Gillian Robinson
This book, produced as a result of an international collaboration between researchers in eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Northern Ireland and elsewhere aims to:
Provide a guide to the issues faced by researchers working in violently divided contexts. Document the insights and practise wisdom of researchers operating in such contexts. Afford access to the lived experience of those researchers and the ethical and methodological challenges which face them.
Present accounts and analyses which illustrate a wide range of diverse experiences and perspectives on the experience of doing research in violently divided societies. Explore the involvement of the researchers with the research material and the impact of doing the research on them.
The authors cover a range of ethical and methodological concerns. The specific demands of conducting research in war-torn and divided societies have stimulated the contributors and analyse and critique issues of concern to all researchers, such as the contribution of research to society, the benefit of research to respondents, and issues of objectivity. In the often stark circumstances in which the contributors work, these themes take on an urgency and clarity that can potentially Illuminate research practise generally.
Marie Smyth is a Research Fellow at INCORE, the Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity, University of Ulster and the United Nations University, and Project Director of The Cost of the Troubles Study. She is the co-author of Northern Ireland's Troubles and co-editor of Personal Accounts from Northern Ireland's Troubles (both Pluto Press). Gillian Robinson is Director of INCORE.
Table of Contents:
Introduction • The Role and Function of Research in Divided Societies: The Case of Africa • Does Research Make Any Difference? The Case of Northern Ireland • Reflexivity and the Dilemmas of Identification: An Ethnographic Encounter in Northern Ireland • The Impermeable Identity Wall: The Study of Violent Conflicts by 'Insiders' and Outsiders' • Research for Empowerment in a Divided Cambodia • The Role and Process of Action Research in the Management of Violent Community Conflicts in Nigeria • Researching Ethnic Conflict in Post-Soviet Central Asia • The Use of Epidemiological Methods in Assessing the Impact of war and Armed Conflict • A Field trip to Bosnia: The Dilemmas of the First-Time Researcher • The Ethics of Conducting Psychiatric Research in War-Torn Contexts • One Size Fits All? Focused Comparison and Policy Relevant Research on Violently Divided Societies
Isaac Olawale • Ioannis Armakolas • Pam Bell • John Darby • Andrew Findlay • Tamar Hermann • Helen Jenks Clarke • David Meddings • Eghosa Emmanuel Osaghae • Gillian Robinson • Albrecht Schnabel • Marie Smyth • Anara Tabyshalieva