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Meeting the 'organs': The tacit dilemma of field research in authoritarian states
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, SCOHOST (Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition). Umeå universitet.
2013 (English)In: Area (London 1969), ISSN 0004-0894, E-ISSN 1475-4762, Vol. 45, no 4, 426-432 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To the regret of many scholars, science and politics often overlap, and nowhere as clearly as inside countries ruled by authoritarian governments, where research tends to attract the surveillance of repressive authorities and, more specifically, of the secret services (known as the 'organ' within post-communist space). While such surveillance places significant ethical and methodological challenges on field research, it is rarely discussed in the literature. This paper discusses what may happen when the organ takes interest in fieldwork. Based on the author's experiences in a range of post-communist countries, the aim is to present and discuss the related risks, and to show how these may materialise in relation to the organ's (c)overt activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 45, no 4, 426-432 p.
Keyword [en]
Authoritarian states, Fieldwork, Method, Post-communism, Risk, Secret services, authoritarianism, risk assessment
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-20535DOI: 10.1111/area.12030ISI: 000330040000006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84887133783OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-20535DiVA: diva2:679783
Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2014-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Gentile, Michael
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