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Perspectives on Research & Work in Developing & Transitional Countries

December 15 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

The webinar will cover multiple facets of doing research and working in developing and transitional countries in the field of Defence and Security, but of wider relevance to colleagues from many different humanities and social science disciplines.

Panellists will bring decades of experience to illustrate and discuss the challenges and opportunities of academic research and of those brought about by capacity building or consultancy work delivered in some testing environments.

A variety of fieldwork will be examined , from SSR research in Bosnia and the Western Balkans, research in terrorist organisations, research on armed conflict, human rights and genocide in Guatemala and Colombia, to capacity building work in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, among others. The panellists will share their experiences relating them to the following non-exhaustive list of topics:

– Logistical issues in the preparation of fieldwork – visas, research permits, identification of interviewees/in-country partners

– The relationship between researchers and interviewees

– Access, trust building and remote relationships: access to relevant stakeholders/actors in-country, issues of trust, challenging communication medium, understanding context from a distance

– Time management: local conditions (opening/working hours, distances), culture (sense of hard deadlines), need for translations

– Dependable data and M&E requirements: Ensuring the reliability and validity of data collected from in-country sources, reporting back to funder (go-between), when data is missing or is not what was expected, report writing style

– Risk and Ethics: to us and to people we work with; difficulty in assessment.

– Cultural factors and the advantages of linguistic skills

– Personal benefit/growth

– Selecting appropriately a research approach: case study of the rationale for adopting an ethnographic research method in terrorism studies (presenting strengths and challenges of the ethnographic approach)

The webinar will include three short talks followed by a Q&A session. Our expert panel will include colleagues from both DTPs including

– Anastasia Filippidou, Lecturer in Terrorism, Intelligence and Conflict Resolution, Cranfield Forensic Institute, Cranfield University

– Edith Wilkinson, Lecturer, Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI), Cranfield University

– Gemma Collantes Celador, Academic Director, “Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context” programme (UK MoD), Senior Lecturer in International Security, International Security and Law Group, Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI), Cranfield University

– Roddy Brett, Associate Professor, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS), University of Bristol; Pathway Lead, Global Political Economy Programme (ESRC SWDTP). Publications include The Companion to Peace and Conflict Fieldwork, published by Palgrave