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Field Research During War: Ethical Dilemmas

  • Elisabeth Jean Wood

Field research in conflict zones is challenging for both methodological and ethical reasons. In conflict zones, the usual imperatives of empirical research (to gather and analyze accurate data to address a relevant theoretical question) are intensified by the absence of unbiased data from sources such as newspapers, the partisan nature of much data compiled by organizations operating in the conflict zone, the difficulty of establishing what a representative sample would be and carrying out a study of that sample, and the obvious logistical challenges. Similarly, the ethical imperative of research (“do no harm”) is intensified in conflict zones by political polarization, the presence of armed actors, the precarious security of most residents, the general unpredictability of events, and the traumatization through violence of combatants and civilians alike.

Keywords

Field Research Ethical Dilemma Rural Resident Ethical Challenge Nongovernmental Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Jean Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceYale UniversityConnecticut

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