Ethical approaches to refugee-related research.

The interest on forced migration has visibly grown with the so-called “long summer of migration” in 2015, which represented an unprecedented phenomenon for the Yugoslav successor states, located along one of the main refugee paths – the Western Balkan route. While the growing influx of people fleeing the Middle East region brought about a rise in solidarity initiatives among the civil society, in academia refugee-related research rose sharply.

Conductive Quantitative Research in a Region of Limited Data Validity

In the last two decades, research on peace and conflict has undergone its ‘local turn’. The global conflict environment changed rapidly after the end of the Cold War as traditional inter-state conflicts vanished, while the occurrence and intensity of intra-state conflicts rapidly increased. Many scholars, both from the quantitative and the qualitative camp, have responded to the changing nature of violent conflict by shifting their focus from the once dominant state-level towards the largely understudied local-level.

Revisiting Non-Alignment and Yugoslavia’s Global Role

The 17th Non-Aligned Summit that took place last month in Venezuela went largely unnoticed and was generally portrayed by the media as an anachronistic event of a Cold War-era bloc. This is despite the fact that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) remains the second largest international body after the United Nations. It was the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that on this occasion thanked the Movement for mobilising the international community on issues ranging from sustainable development, the fight against poverty and nuclear disarmament, especially commending it for its role as a key player in helping formulate the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. His address also emphasised the often overlooked fact that 'the UN and the NAM are united via a common purpose'.

Fieldwork Research in Sensitive Contexts: Interviewing Bosnian War Victims

Any student that has embarked upon fieldwork in Bosnia and Herzegovina has probably faced the question of how to reconcile the objectives of his or her research project and the expectations and needs of his or her respondents. Fieldwork in Bosnia is not only challenging due to the dissonance of opinions depending on which ethno-national side you talk to, but also because the war trauma and the tortuous post-war development have left behind a disillusioned and disengaged people who have become suspicious of foreigners

A Study Trip to a Comfortable Conflict Zone

This blog entry is a brief reflection on a study trip, which I co-organised with Prof. Karl Kaser (Southeast European History and Anthropology, University of Graz) in May 2016. My colleagues Karabekir Akkoyunlu and Nataša Mišković (University of Basel), who graciously supported this blog with her excellent photos, also took part, along twenty students of the history department and the Masters of Southeast European Studies MA.SEES.

Making Maps

by Florian Bieber 15.12.2015 Mapmaking is well known as being not only the handmaiden of exploration, but also of colonialism and establishing and reinforcing political claims, as already Benedict Anderson showed in Imagined Communities. Similarly, map making and its congenial twin census taking produce claims to territories, well documented in the Balkans in the case... Continue Reading →

Drawing Guide

Once upon a time, we all learned that research process starts with brainstorming. However, at that very first moment when we start our first academic writing, we realize that in reality there are many “sunny days” prior to the “stormy days”. I am about to show you how “drawing guide” might be helpful in invoking “clouds” as a prerequisites for “storm”. Moreover, “drawing guide” might be very useful in further designing and structuring.

Visualizing the Field

by David Brown 31.05.2016 This contribution aims to reflect briefly on some of the questions and challenges that arise when researchers prepare for ethnographic field-research (Hammersley and Atkinson 2007). My general research focuses on the intersection(s) of visual culture, protest, and football fans. My field research (in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina) still lies ahead, and... Continue Reading →

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