As a researcher, it is easier to replicate the work of scholars who have already worked on a subject, than to come up with original research. This is, of course, self-evident, but it is a trap that is surprisingly difficult to evade. I learned this the hard way, when researching the Chinese famine of 1876-1879.
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This note briefly outlines a research agenda on mercenaries and private military companies (PMC’s) in Africa’s political marketplaces. It is driven by: (a) a desire to understand mercenarism within the context of broader political, economic and social changes in global and local governance; and (b) the need to move away from simplistic analyses […]Continue Reading →
The development of a university-based peace and security archives could serve as a vital teaching and research resource for students and faculty. It would provide researchers directly involved in peace and security research with a trusted repository to deposit their valuable and hard-earned research data and could serve as a resource for research and teaching. Further, it could serve as a foundational component of a center, program, area of study, or initiative focused on peace and security, serving as the basis for a variety of symposiums, workshops, and collaborative research projects. In particular, the development of tools that allows researchers and students to interact with research data from the archives in creative ways to formulate new findings, insights, and questions can serve as an exciting nexus between archives, research data, and scholarship.Continue Reading →
The absence of an archive to capture primary source data on conflict does not mean that there are no models to inform such an endeavor. In this essay, we introduce several models of archives related to human security issues and discuss some of the challenges that would be involved to create an archive for social science data.Continue Reading →
One crucial contributing factor to the lack of reflection on practices of knowledge production is the complete absence of institutional models for archiving raw data collected by social science research, particularly transcribed interview data. In short, currently, there are no archives for primary source data collections on issues related to conflict, a fact that inhibits the field’s ability for self-reflection, training new generations of researchers, and for comparing results across studies. Arguably, only universities have the requisite concern about how knowledge is produced in addition to what knowledge is produced to provide an appropriate home for such an archive.Continue Reading →
We are excited to share with you a new online symposium developed by our colleagues at Humanity, on the changing nature of knowledge production in fragile states. In light of the intensification of evidence-based policymaking and the “data revolution” in development, the symposium asks what the ethical and political implications are for qualitative research as a tool of governance.Continue Reading →
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