Conducting Terrorism Field Research: A Guide

Overview

This book offers a detailed and practically oriented guide to the challenges of conducting terrorist fieldwork. The past decade has seen an explosion of research into terrorism. However, field research on terrorism has traditionally been surrounded by many myths, and has been called anything from "necessary" and "crucial" to "dangerous", "unethical" and "impossible". While there is an increasing interest among terrorism specialists in conducting such research, there is no single volume providing prospective field...

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Conducting Terrorism Field Research: A Guide

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Overview

This book offers a detailed and practically oriented guide to the challenges of conducting terrorist fieldwork. The past decade has seen an explosion of research into terrorism. However, field research on terrorism has traditionally been surrounded by many myths, and has been called anything from "necessary" and "crucial" to "dangerous", "unethical" and "impossible". While there is an increasing interest among terrorism specialists in conducting such research, there is no single volume providing prospective field researchers with a guideline to such work. This edited volume aims to fill this gap and offers a collection of articles from experienced authors representing different risk groups, disciplines, methodological approaches, regional specializations, and other context-specific aspects. Each contributor provides a road-map to their own research, describing planning and preparation phases, the formalities involved in getting into conflict zones, gaining access to sources, managing contacts, interviewing militants in the field, detailed discussion on the risks involved, ethical dilemmas, translation issues, effective interviewing and rapport-building steps, and other practical aspects of conducting field research. The text will also help researchers set realistic expectations of how the process of interviewing militants and secretive government sources in conflict zones is organized, what the likely outcomes are, and assist with many other practical issues such as how to navigate through challenges posed by government forces unsympathetic to researchers, how to reduce risk of physical harm when travelling in conflict zones, how to behave at hostile checkpoints, how to answer specific questions militants tend to ask prior and during interviews. The end product is a 'how to' guide to field research on terrorism, which will be of much value to terrorism experts and novices alike, providing detailed insights into the challenges and obsta

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'First-hand field research is a vital part of original scholarship on
terrorism. This excellent volume draws on a wide range of cases, and a rich
body of high-quality research experience, to provide insights which will be
of enormous value to scholars in the future.'
Richard English, University of St Andrews

'A uniquely useful compendium of expert guidance on one of the most daunting obstacles to productive research on terrorism: field work. This contribution fills a large gap.'Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University

'An essential primer for anyone contemplating field work in war or conflict zones, Conducting Terrorism Field Research distills best practices, dispenses practical guidance and provides critical preparatory advice to anyone contemplating or undertaking such research.' — Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University

'Violence requires justification. This is also true for terrorism. Terrorists want to explain and hope to be understood. In this ground-breaking volume, 16 researchers describe their journeys into the lion's den and the practical, methodological and ethical problems they encountered when interviewing terrorists. If further proof were needed that the field of terrorism studies has achieved a higher level of maturity, this volume, introduced and edited by Adam Dolnik, provides it.'Alex Schmid, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Adam Dolnik is Professor of Counterterrorism at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies in Germany, and Professor of Terrorism Studies at the University of Wollongong in Australia. He is the author of Understanding Terrorist Innovation: Technologies, Tactics, and Global Trends (Routledge, 2007) and Negotiating Hostage Crises with the New Terrorists (2008), as well as over 50 reports and articles on terrorism-related issues.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the Need for Field Research, Adam Dolnik 2. Interviewing Government and Official Sources: An Introductory Guide, Lindsay Clutterbuck and Richard Warnes 3. Learning From the "Dark Side": Identifying, Accessing and Interviewing Illicit Non-State Actors, Michael Kenney 4. Research Challenges Involved in Field Study on Terrorism in the Middle East, Magnus Ranstorp 5. Field Research: Argentina in Comparative Perspective, Maria Rasmussen 6. Conversing with the Adversary: Interviewing Palestinian Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers in Israeli Prisons, Yoram Schweitzer 7. Face to Face with my Case Study, Laila Bokhari 8. Conducting Field Research on Terrorism in Iraq, Michael Knights 9. A Practical Guide to Research on Terrorism in the North Caucasus, Cerwyn Moore 10. Conducting Terrorism Fieldwork on a Shoestring Budget: Researching Suicide Terrorism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Rashmi Singh 11. Researching Militant Groups in Southeast Asia, Zachary Abuza 12. Conducting Field Research on Terrorism in Northern Ireland, Kacper Rekawek 13. Interviewing the Terrorists: Reflections on Fieldwork and Implications for Psychological Research, John Horgan 14. Professionalizing High-Risk Field Research in Academia, Michael Taarnby 15. Up Close and Personal: Conducting Field Research on Terrorism in Conflict Zones, Adam Dolnik

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