While many have argued in the past decade that peace and conflict studies must engage more with local actors and communities, and scholars regularly describe the importance of local context and culture for building sustainable peace, there are substantial challenges methodologically to fulfilling this 'local turn'. Many peace and conflict studies scholars are inexperienced with methods appropriate for engaging with local communities, contexts and cultures, and many of the important institutions in the field, from key journals to important funders, exhibit a continuing preference for quantitative studies.
The Ethnographic Peace Research (EPR) agenda has recently been developed in response to these challenges and is one of the key avenues to providing a methodological complement to the more theoretically-focused local turn literature. This volume explores the application of the EPR approach in a number of post-conflict and conflict-affected societies around the world. While some chapters take a largely theoretical approach, most consider the practical application and the different kinds of methods that may be useful components of an EPR project. Together, the authors provide new insights into the benefits, challenges, and ethics of the emerging EPR agenda.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal International Peacekeeping.
Gearoid Millar is Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen, UK. He studies the local experiences of international interventions for peace, justice, and development in post-conflict societies. He has developed the Ethnographic Peace Research (EPR) approach through his research projects on Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, and Development in Sierra Leone.
1. Introduction: Engaging Ethnographic Peace Research: Exploring an Approach
2. Visiting the Tiger Zone - Methodological, Conceptual and Ethical Challenges of Ethnographic Research on Perpetrators
3. With Soymilk to the Khmer Rouge: Challenges of Researching Ex-combatants in Post-war Contexts
4. Ethnographic Peace Research: The Underappreciated Benefits of Long-term Fieldwork
5. Suspicion and Ethnographic Peace Research (Notes from a Local Researcher)
Nerve Valerio Macaspac
6. Critiquing Anthropological Imagination in Peace and Conflict Studies: From Empiricist Positivism to a Dialogical Approach in Ethnographic Peace Research