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Cooperative Ethics As A New Model For Cultural Research On Peace And Security

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Chapter Summary

Research on violent conflict is often considered perilous because information is difficult to come by. It is assumed that warlords and combatants are reluctant to share information because of fears of retribution by state or supra state war crimes tribunals or that such information might be intercepted and used by enemy forces. This is why one of the ethical considerations of social research in conflict settings is to protect the identities of informants, especially those likely to be linked to war crimes. This chapter discusses methodological and ethical issues that arise from the self-interest of informants. It seeks to show that the objectivity of research in conflict settings is compromised not just by the researcher's interests but by those of informants as well. The chapter is based on the author's doctoral research on violent conflict in two multi-ethnic cities in Nigeria's Niger Delta.

Keywords:informants; Niger Delta; violent conflict; war crimes



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