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Terrorists, scholars and ordinary people: confronting terrorism studies with field experiences

Toros, Harmonie (2008) Terrorists, scholars and ordinary people: confronting terrorism studies with field experiences. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 1 (2). pp. 279-292. ISSN 1753-9153. (doi:10.1080/17539150802184652) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539150802184652

Abstract

Fieldwork in the study of terrorism remains the exception, allowing for scores of publications to be produced each year with little or no contact with the perpetrators of terrorist violence and scarce direct observation of the social realities in which it occurs. While examining some of the serious drawbacks and pitfalls such research can entail, this article makes a case for more fieldwork in terrorism studies, arguing that it can bring greater depth to our understanding of terrorist violence. The discussion focuses on a common assumption – the existence of the ‘terrorist’ as subject – and a common practice of terrorism studies – the concentration on extraordinary events at the expense of ‘ordinary life’ and ‘ordinary people’ – and how they are called into question by the material gathered during field research conducted in the Southern Philippine region of Mindanao. The article concludes with a reflection on some of the challenges facing researchers in danger zones, from their dependence on local knowledge for security to the need for methodological flexibility when faced with the complexity of research in conflict areas.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17539150802184652
Uncontrolled keywords: terrorism, fieldwork, Mindanao, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Philippines, ethnography of violence, methodology, conflict transformation
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Conflict Analysis Research Centre
Depositing User: Harmonie Toros
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 22:56 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:55 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38547 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Toros, Harmonie: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9139-5292
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