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This chapter presents several ethical and methodological issues related to a research collaboration between a peace and development scholar from Sweden and a human rights defender from Somalia. The chapter offers a reflexive and practically oriented discussion of a project that draws on focus groups and interviews in order to research societal perspectives on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It adds to the recent research on African interventionism in order to highlight the benefits of research collaboration and knowledge co-production. What sets this contribution apart from similar previous works is that the authors’ main aim is to share their insights regarding what the methodological choices they made together added to the overall analysis and results. They argue that their experience of research collaboration led to a number of ‘epistemic openings’, obtaining a fine-grained and comprehensive set of insights on the micro-governance of local perceptions about intervening actors and especially AMISOM. Moreover, it allows to capture multifaceted narratives about localised consequences of interventions.

In: Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture