The ethnography of state terror is “high risk” research and there are real personal dangers for anyone who conducts fieldwork on this issue. Managing such dangers has particularly become an issue for those conducting primary research with perpetrators of state terror—the “rank and file” who apply the electric cattle prods and pull the triggers—and all of the researchers I know who have taken this path have been threatened in one form or another. Th is article reviews the core literature and latest developments in managing the physical dangers inherent in the ethnography of political violence and state terror, particularly fieldwork or primary research with the actual perpetrators themselves, makes practical recommendations for managing such dangers, and presents some ideas for developing risk management plans or protocols for researcher survival in perilous field sites.
Jeffrey A. Sluka
Disasters in Field Research: Preparing for and Coping with Unexpected Events Gillian H. Ice, Darna L. Dufour and Nancy J. Stevens, Lanham, MN: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-7591-1802-7, 216pp., Pb: £22.95, $32.00.
Sarah J. Mahler, Jeffrey A. Sluka, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Charlotte Loris-Rodionoff and Katherine Swancutt
Christian Krohn-Hansen, Making New York Dominican: Small Business, Politics, and Everyday Life (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 312 pp. ISBN 9780812244618.
David Pedersen, American Value: Migrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 304 pp. ISBN 9780226653396.
Simon Harrison, Dark Trophies: Hunting and the Enemy Body in Modern War (New York: Berghahn Books, 2012), 196 pp. ISBN 9780857454980.
Christoph Wulf, Anthropology: A Continental Perspective, trans. Deirdre Winter, Elizabeth Hamilton, Margitta Rouse, and Richard J. Rouse (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 408 pp. ISBN 9780226925066.
Peter Geschiere, Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust: Africa in Comparison (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 328 pp. ISBN 9780226047614.
Rane Willerslev, On the Run in Siberia, trans. Coilín ÓhAiseadha (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), 216 pp. ISBN 9780816676279.