Article: ‘Working with Others: Reflections on Fieldwork in Postconflict Societies’ by Cheryl Lawther, Rachel Killean and Lauren Dempster and published in International Journal of Transitional Justice.
In this Note from the Field we reflect on the challenges of doing sensitive fieldwork in postconflict and transitional societies. Our reflections are informed by sustained fieldwork with victims and perpetrators of violent conflict in a range of transitional jurisdictions. While undertaking this work, we have been acutely aware of the challenges raised by our own position in the field and by the power dynamics at play when working with partner organizations and speaking with vulnerable communities. Focusing on the themes of preparation, partners and positionality, this Note highlights the benefits and potential pitfalls of this style of qualitative work and seeks to encourage a more reflexive approach to working with victims and survivors of gross human rights violations.