Title: Conducting Terrorism Field Research
Author: Adam Dolnik
Dolnik, Adam (2013) ed. Conducting Terrorism Field Research: A Guide. New York: Routledge
Date Posted: October 13, 2015
The contributors to this important volume provide a detailed “how to” guide to conducting fieldwork in terrorism studies. As opposed to library research, field research entails numerous challenges, including ethical questions involved in interviewing former and (if possible) current terrorists (including those serving prison sentences) and traveling to dangerous conflict zones where terrorist groups operate. For academics, in particular, a major challenge is obtaining approval from their university review boards to ensure that their subjects will be protected from any future harm arising from the research. A further challenge, once a researcher is in the field, is whether to coordinate such research with local governments and their security services that may be monitoring them, including sharing the results of one’s findings with them. To answer these and other questions, the editor has brought together top experts in the field who explain how to utilize different disciplines and methodological approaches, as well as the crucial regional specializations that are necessary to conduct such field research. The volume is well organized, with each contributor providing a road-map to their own research, describing planning and preparation phases, the formalities involved in getting into conflict zones and gaining access to sources. Providing such a “how to” guide makes this volume essential for all those involved in conducting research on terrorism.