Book chapter: Experiences in Researching Conflict and Violence

Meike de Goede and Inge Ligtvoet wrote a chapter for Experiences in Researching Conflict and Violence, edited by Althea-Maria Rivas and Brendan Ciaran Browne (Bristol, Policy Press). The chapter is titled ‘Fields of Insecurity: Responding to Flows of Information’.

This chapter focuses on the impact of flows of information through ICTs on the decision-making processes for researchers working in instable, volatile regions. Drawing on the authors’ experiences in Nigeria and Congo-Brazzaville, the
paper argues that while ICTs have become important tools for research, they also create new dilemmas for the researcher. These dilemmas emerge from the interface between us as researchers, and constant flows of information about insecurity in our fields that reach us via social media. Paradoxically, in an information rich world, a lack of information can also create such dilemmas. Flows of information – or the lack thereof – are not only data, but also affect us on an emotional level. As such new subjective fields of insecurity emerge for the researcher, that produce emotional responses such as anger or disorientation, and that in turn inform decision-making processes, such as an inclination for deeper engagement, or to disengage.