Researching Violence in Africa

Ethical and Methodological Challenges

Series:

Researching violence and conflict can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including security risks to researchers and informants, restricted or lack of access to informants and field sites, and poor reliability of official data. Traditional methodological approaches may need to be adapted, and new methods may be called for. In addition, such research carries ethical challenges about representation of informants and information and possible use of the research for harmful ends. This book, drawing on research conducted throughout Africa in conflict zones and other insecure environments, considers the everyday dilemmas researchers face. It provides essential contributions to ongoing challenging debates about the use of alternative and mixed methods in social science research.
Restricted Access

E-Book:

EUR €62.00USD $86.00

Biographical Note

Christopher Cramer, Ph.D. (1994) in Economics, Cambridge, is Professor of the Political Economy of Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He works in sub-Saharan Africa on the political economy of violence/post-conflict reconstruction, and on rural labour markets. He is the author of Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries (London: C.Hurst, 2006).

Laura C Hammond, Ph.D. (2000) in Anthropology, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She works in the Horn of Africa on conflict, forced migration, and food security, and is the author of This Place Will Become Home: Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia (Cornell, 2004).

Johan J P Pottier, D.Phil (1980) in Anthropology, University of Sussex, is Professor of African Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He specialises in food security, media representations of conflict, and humanitarian intervention. He is the author of Re-Imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the late 20th Century (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Review Quotes

'Besides the Introduction, the contributions by Doná, Hammond, and Wienia stand out, especially their approaches to silence. Silence can mean complicity or resistance, a calm before the storm, a cultural expression of self-censorship, or self-censorship on the part of the researcher. These critical reflections illustrate how method encompasses our access to the field and our actions in it, but also how we reflect on our experiences, and how we analytically order and shape them into ethnographic representations. This is one of the strengths of the volume –
and it could have been spelled out more explicitly.
The questions and reflections raised here are relevant beyond an African context. However, restricting the focus to Africa makes this publication a timely contribution to debates on African social change and how we engage in it'.

Jacob Rasmussen, Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims and Roskilde University, in 'African Affairs' July 2012

Table of contents

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements ............................................................................ vii

Navigating the Terrain of Methods and Ethics in Conflict Research ..... 1
Johan Pottier, Laura Hammond and Christopher Cramer

Researching Conflict in Africa: A Researcher’s Account of Ife-Modakeke, South-Western Nigeria ...... 23
Olajide O. Akanji

Researching Children and Violence in Evolving Socio-Political Contexts ...... 39
Giorgia Doná

Four Layers of Silence: Counterinsurgency in Northeastern Ethiopia ... 61
Laura Hammond

Uncertain Ethics: Researching Civil War in Sudan ..................... 79
Sharon E. Hutchinson

‘From Nation to Family’: Researching Gender and Sexuality ..... 95
Danai Mupotsa

Cooperative Ethics as a New Model for Cultural Research on Peace and Security ... 111
Derek B. Miller and Ron Scollon

Hidden Agendas in Conflict Research: Informants’ Interests and Research Objectivity in the Niger Delta ... 137
Ukoha Ukiwo

Silence and authoritative speech in post-violence northern Ghana .. 155
Martijn Wienia

List of Contributors ........................................................................... 175
Index .................................................................................................... 1

Readership

All those interested in social science research methods and ethics, particularly anthropology, geography, political science, and sociology. Also those interested in conflict and peace studies, and African studies.

Index Card

Collection Information