Making Fieldwork Work: Even in Insecure & Secure Places and with Difficult or Powerful People

The Institute of International Relations  invites you to an academic workshop: "Making Fieldwork Work: Even in Insecure & Secure Places and with Difficult or Powerful People". The event will take place on May 25, 2018 at 11:30 AM in the IIR building, Nerudova 3, Prague 1.

25. 5. 2018 (11:30)

The Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1

There are many kinds of fieldwork but few of these endeavours ever work out as planned. While the surprises of the field are one of the joys of this kind of research, its important to make sure that your fieldwork works for you – in a way that makes your research viable as well as safe and ethical.

Jonathan Austin has conducted fieldwork in multiple locations in and around the Middle East including in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey, with a particular focus on interviewing perpetrators of war crimes (torturers, terrorists, and beyond). In this session he will share some of his experiences of doing field research, as well as making sense of it afterwards in ways that do justice to the experience and participants as well as to the need to make sense of and represent it in academic and non-academic ways.

Benjamin Tallis has conducted extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe including in secured locations and with security and law enforcement agencies. He has published on the ways in researchers and their interlocutors co-produce knowledge, as well as on how to make sense of fieldwork experiences. He will focus in this session on the sensibilities that interpretive researchers in IR can bring to their fieldwork and how to interact with security professionals.

Together, Austin and Tallis will discuss some of the challenges of making fieldwork work in difficult settings and getting the most out of it for your research. 

This session is targeted at academics who have conducted or who seek to conduct fieldwork, whether at the doctoral level or in later stages of an academic career.