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Navigating The Terrain Of Methods And Ethics In Conflict Research

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Chapter Summary

Social science research involving fieldwork carries legal and ethical concerns every step of the way, even in situations not characterized by violence and/or conflict. Hard questions must be asked of every activity: from selecting a topic, a location and a time, to deciding who to ask for funding and how to obtain access and consent, right down to deciding what and where to publish and how to handle post-publication responsibilities. While social science researchers generally endeavour to avoid undue intrusion, they also know from experience that the fieldwork trajectory is difficult to predict in all its aspects, especially when long-term research is undertaken. Since frontline researchers and journalists face similar challenges, it is useful briefly to consider the emergence of advocacy journalism in the mid-1990s. Researching in conflict zones requires constant consideration of ethical issues.

Keywords: advocacy journalism; conflict research; ethical issues



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