Stories from the Field

A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science

Edited by Peter Krause and Ora Szekely

Columbia University Press

Stories from the Field

Pub Date: June 2020

ISBN: 9780231193016

384 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£30.00

Pub Date: June 2020

ISBN: 9780231193009

384 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $140.00£115.00

Pub Date: June 2020

ISBN: 9780231550109

384 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£30.00

Stories from the Field

A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science

Edited by Peter Krause and Ora Szekely

Columbia University Press

What do you do if you get stuck in an elevator in Mogadishu? How worried should you be about being followed after an interview with a ring of human traffickers in Lebanon? What happens to your research if you get placed on a government watchlist? And what if you find yourself feeling like you just aren’t cut out for fieldwork?

Stories from the Field is a relatable, thoughtful, and unorthodox guide to field research in political science. It features personal stories from working political scientists: some funny, some dramatic, all fascinating and informative. Political scientists from a diverse range of biographical and academic backgrounds describe research in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, ranging from archival work to interviews with combatants. In sharing their stories, the book’s forty-four contributors provide accessible illustrations of key concepts, including specific research methods like conducting surveys and interviews, practical questions of health and safety, and general principles such as the importance of flexibility, creativity, and interpersonal connections. The contributors reflect not only on their own experiences but also on larger questions about research ethics, responsibility, and the effects of their personal and professional identities on their fieldwork. Stories from the Field is an essential resource for graduate and advanced undergraduate students learning about field research methods, as well as established scholars contemplating new journeys into the field.
The breadth of life experience captured in this collection is the reason this volume has great pedagogical potential. A lot of graduate students will flip to find their academic heroes and crushes and then keep reading. Authors are writing with different agendas, but always in a first-person voice. The effect is to give the volume both intellectual heft and a personal touch. Jesse Driscoll, University of California, San Diego

About the Author

Peter Krause is associate professor of political science at Boston College and research affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. He is the author of Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win (2017) and coeditor of Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International Politics (2018).

Ora Szekely is associate professor of political science at Clark University. She is the author of The Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East: Resources, Relationships, and Resistance (2016) and coauthor of Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars (2019).