Research in Authoritarian and Repressive Contexts

American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, Working Group Final Reports, Report IV.1 (2018)

10 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2019

See all articles by Eva Bellin

Eva Bellin

Brandeis University

Sheena Chestnut Greitens

University of Missouri

Yoshiko M. Herrera

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science

Diane Singerman

American University - School of Public Affairs

Date Written: February 13, 2019

Abstract

Authoritarian and repressive contexts pose distinctive challenges for scholars aiming to deliver on the goal of research transparency. In these settings, opinions are not freely exchanged nor is information easily accessed. Locally based interlocutors often face considerable risk of imprisonment, torture, or worse for sharing information that is considered politically sensitive or compromising to the powers-that-be. To generate knowledge, achieve real understanding, and stay true to research ethics, scholars operating in this dangerous and data-poor environment must place a premium on measures that protect interlocutor confidentiality, build networks of trust, clarify contextual meaning, and acknowledge the researcher’s positionality.

Keywords: qualitative methods, research transparency, authoritarianism, political repression, research ethics, human subjects protection, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations

Suggested Citation

Bellin, Eva and Chestnut Greitens, Sheena and Herrera, Yoshiko M. and Singerman, Diane, Research in Authoritarian and Repressive Contexts (February 13, 2019). American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, Working Group Final Reports, Report IV.1 (2018) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3333496 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3333496

Eva Bellin (Contact Author)

Brandeis University ( email )

United States

Sheena Chestnut Greitens

University of Missouri ( email )

309 Professional Bldg.
Columbia, MI 65211-6030
United States

Yoshiko M. Herrera

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Diane Singerman

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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