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
Date Written: February 13, 2019
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
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