Case Study Research in Kenya and South Korea: Reflexivity and Ethical Dilemmas

23 Pages Posted: 10 May 2022

See all articles by Aleydis Nissen

Aleydis Nissen

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Date Written: 2022


Reflexivity increases the reliability of qualitative research studies and can fuel conversations as to how field researchers make judgments of complex challenges that are simultaneous of a practical, scientific and ethical nature. In this paper, I will reflect on the collection of empirical data for two case studies on the role of the European Union in the regulation and remediation of labour rights violations in the Kenyan floriculture industry and the South Korean electronics industry. This paper has two intertwined objectives. First, this paper explores reflexivity on my research experience and the use of methods in empirical fieldwork. Second, this paper questions the Anglo-American elements of my research, which had been reinforced by my School’s Research Ethics Committee. I explain how the contexts of research institutions and research participants can starkly differ and may not always be attuned to each other. I suggest that awareness of and training in “positive ethics” might be useful to deal with such issues.

Keywords: Ethics, interviews, socio-legal fieldwork, reflexivity

Suggested Citation

Nissen, Aleydis, Case Study Research in Kenya and South Korea: Reflexivity and Ethical Dilemmas (2022). EUI Department of Law Research Paper No. 2022/07, Available at SSRN: or

Aleydis Nissen (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA

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