Readings and useful links on ethics and safety in political research

METARESPS (Methodological Aspects of Research Ethics and Safety in Political Studies) Roundtables Resources

The guest speakers who participated in the METARESPS (Methodological Aspects of Research Ethics and Safety in Political Studies) roundtable series shared with us a list of readings rooted in different fields of research. All readings focus on issues of ethics and safety when studying politics, from various perspectives and in a number of political contexts.

We gathered these readings and some additional useful links here to share them with students and researchers interested in reflecting further on what does it mean to conduct research safely and, at the same time, in an ethically sound way when studying politics at large.



* Achilli, L. & Sanchez, G. 2017, “Methodological approaches in human smuggling research: Documenting irregular migration facilitation in the Americas and the Middle East”, Migration Policy Practice 8(2), 21-25  
* Akcinar, M., Cantini, D., Kreil, A., Naef, S., & Schaeublin, E. No Country for Anthropologists? Ethnographic Research in the Contemporary Middle East.

* Baczko, Adam, Gilles Dorronsoro, & Arthur Quesnay, « The Epistemological Privilege of Fieldwork: A Collective Investigation in War-Torn Syria », Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 2021,

* Barbosa, S., & Milan, S. (2019). Do Not Harm in Private Chat Apps: Ethical Issues for Research on and with WhatsApp. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 14(1), 49–65.

* Ben Jones, “Political Activism and Research Ethics”, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 37, No. 2 (May 2020). Available at:

* Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Ellen Furnari & Rachel Julian (2020) Researching with ‘Local’ Associates: Power, Trust and Data in an Interpretive Project on Communities’ Conflict Knowledge in Myanmar, Civil Wars, 22:4, 427-452.

* Bizeul, Daniel, « Should Everything be Exposed about an Investigation at the Front National ? Reflections on Data Sharing and Ethical Duty in Sociology/ Faut-il tout dévoiler d’une enquête au Front national ? Réflexions sur le partage des données et le devoir éthique en sociologie », Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 2021, vol. 150, no 1, p. 70‑105.

* Carapico, S. (2006). No easy answers: The ethics of field research in the Arab world. PS: Political Science & Politics, 39(3), 429-431.

* Clark, J. A., & Cavatorta, F. (Eds.). (2018). Political science research in the Middle East and North Africa: Methodological and ethical challenges. Oxford University Press.

* Cronin-Furman, K., & Lake, M. 2018. “Ethics Abroad: Fieldwork in Fragile and Violent Contexts.” PS: Political Science & Politics, 51(3), 607-614.

* Enria, L. “Elective affinities: fragility and injustice in the field”. Blog post, The New Ethnographer. Available via 

* Gallien, Max. "Solitary Decision-Making and Fieldwork Safety." In The Companion to Peace and Conflict Fieldwork, pp. 163-174. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2021.

* Grimm, J., Koehler, K., Lust, E. M., Saliba, I., & Schierenbeck, I. (2020). Safer field research in the social sciences: A guide to human and digital security in hostile environments. Sage.

* Jana Krause (2021) The Ethics of Ethnographic Methods in Conflict Zones, Journal of Peace Research 58:3, 329–41.

* Hintz, A., & Milan, S. (2010). “Social science is police science”. Researching grassroots activism. International Journal of Communication, 4, 837–344.

* Kazansky, B., Torres, G., van der Velden, L., Wissenbach, K. R., & Milan, S. (2019). Data for the social good: Toward a data-activist research agenda. In A. Daly & M. Mann (Eds.), Good Data (pp. 244–259). Institute of Network Cultures. 

* Katz, Jack, « Armor for Ethnographers », Sociological Forum, 2019, vol. 34, no 1, p. 264‑275. http://10.1111/socf.12494

* Khan, Shamus, « The Subpoena of Ethnographic Data », Sociological Forum, 2019, vol. 34, no 1, p. 253‑263.

* Knott, E. (2019). Beyond the field: Ethics after fieldwork in politically dynamic contexts. Perspectives on Politics, 17(1), 140-153.

* Lake, M., & Parkinson, S. E. 2017. “The Ethics of Fieldwork Preparedness.” Political Violence at a Glance

* Laurens, Sylvain, « Is the independence of social sciences seriously in jeopardy? An examination of the situation in France 10 years after the « droit d’enquêter » conference / L’autonomie des sciences sociales en état d’urgence ? État des lieux de la situation française dix ans après le colloque « Droit d’enquêter » », Sociologie et sociétés, 2020, vol. 52, no 1, p. 47‑67.

* Lupia, A., & Elman, C. (2014). Openness in political science: Data access and research transparency: Introduction. PS: Political Science & Politics, 47(1), 19-42.

* Malthaner, S. (2014). Fieldwork in the context of violent conflict and authoritarian regimes, in Donatella DELLA PORTA (ed.), Methodological practices in social movement research, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 173-194 

* Marwan, M. & Camille Noûs, « Vers une neutralisation juridique et bureaucratique des recherches sur des sujets sensibles ? », Tracés. Revue de Sciences humaines, 2019, no 19, p. 115‑128. http://10.4000/traces.10843

* Milan, C., & Milan, S. (2016). Involving communities as skilled learners: The STRAP framework. In N. Wildermuth & T. Ngomba (Eds.), Methodological Reflections on Researching Communication and Social Change (pp. 9–28). Palgrave MacMillan.

* Milan, S. (2014). The ethics of social movement research. In D. della Porta (Ed.), Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research (pp. 446–464). Oxford University Press.

* Peter, Mateja, and Francesco Strazzari. "Securitisation of research: fieldwork under new restrictions in Darfur and Mali." Third World Quarterly 38, no. 7 (2017): 1531-1550. 

* Russo, A., & Strazzari, F. (2020). The politics of safe research in violent and illiberal contexts. Doing Fieldwork in Areas of International Intervention: A Guide to Research in Violent and Closed Contexts, 75-94. 

* Schedler, A., & Mudde, C. (2010). Data usage in quantitative comparative politics. Political Research Quarterly, 63(2), 417-433

* Schaeublin, E. (2020). Disconnected Accountabilities: Institutionalizing Islamic Giving in Nablus (Palestine). Journal of Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society, 4(2), 28-60.

* Sluka, Jeffrey. 1995. “Reflections on Managing Danger in Fieldwork: Dangerous Anthropology in Belfast”. In Fieldwork under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Carolyn Nordstrom and Antonius C. G. M. Robben, eds. Pp. 276–294. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

* Spivak, Gayatri. 1988. ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ In, Nelson, Cary and Lawrence Grossberg (eds), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Urbana: University of Illinois Press

* Van Baalen, S. (2018). ‘Google wants to know your location’: The ethical challenges of fieldwork in the digital age. Research Ethics, 14(4), 1-17.

* Wackenhut, A. F. (2018). Ethical considerations and dilemmas before, during and after fieldwork in less-democratic contexts: Some reflections from post-uprising Egypt. The American Sociologist, 49(2), 242-257.

* Weipert-Fenner, I.  “Blurred Lines of Inclusion and Exclusion: Research Ethics for Political Sympathizers” in Janine Clark and Francesco Cavatorta (eds.) Political Science Research in the Middle east and North Africa, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

* Wilson, M. C., & Knutsen, C. H. (2020). Geographical Coverage in Political Science Research. Perspectives on Politics, 1-16

Further links


* Advancing Research on Conflict:
* The New Ethnographer:
* The Fieldwork Initiative:
* Doing research in North Africa and the Middle East: 19/webinar-ricerca-e-medio-oriente/ 
* Conducting immersive fieldwork on Islamic activism:


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash