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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Safer Field Research in the Middle East and North Africa

Thursday 5 March 2020
Open to all, free drinks afterwards
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Field research can be risky. Researchers working in conflict areas might get caught up in the fighting. Repressive regimes might target research participants—including interlocutors, research assistants, or field researchers themselves. Those active in field research have an ethical obligation to protect themselves as well as others during and after field research. These challenges are sometimes thrown into stark relief. Cases such as those of Giulio Regeni, Matthew Hedges, or Xiyue Wang make international headlines; yet, despite such highly visible cases, there is insufficient reflection in the social scientific community on how field research risk should be addressed.

This lecture introduces a forthcoming handbook on Safer Field Research in the Social Sciences (SAGE, 2020) which aims at triggering a debate on how researchers can be empowered to conduct safer field research.

About Kevin Köhler

Kevin Köhler is an assistant professor at the Institute of Political Science, Leiden University. His work focuses on the Middle East and North Africa with a particular emphasis on the politics of armed forces and well as broader issues of authoritarian rule and conflict. He has conducted field research in Egypt, the Turkish-Syrian border area, Tunisia, and Yemen and his work has appeared in journals such as Comparative Politics, Security Studies, and Mediterranean Politics, among others.

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